Renowned experts from the fields of pharmacy education, academics, pharmacy sciences and accreditation converged at Gulf Medical University, Ajman – a leading medical university of the Middle East region – to discuss the action plan and road map for improving the standards of pharmacy education in the country, to equip future pharmacy graduates with the skills, knowledge and perspectives to tackle emerging challenges and to play a greater role in the changing nature of pharmacy practice. Organized by the Commission for Academic Accreditation – Ministry of Education, UAE, in collaboration with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (USA), the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (USA), the summit was held on 6th and 7th March 2019.
Welcoming the gathering, Prof. Hossam Hamdy, the Chancellor of GMU said that pharmacy education is an integrated practice, requiring pharmacy students to have a deeper level of interaction with other health sciences.
Leading officials and experts addressed the opening session on a variety of issues related to pharmacy practice and education. Addressing the opening session, Prof. Mohamed Yousif Baniyas -Director, Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA), Ministry of Education, UAE said that the focal areas of the conference included formulating a strategy of higher education in pharmacy studies for the country, as well as facilitating international accreditations among institutions and enhancing applied learning in pharmacy.
Dr. Mariam Galadari – Media and International Relations, Pharmacy Division Chairperson of the Emirates Medical Association, UAE said that the future vision of the country with regard to pharmacy education envisioned a greater role for pharmacists in disease management and total patient care. “Pharmacists will assume a greater role in community settings and in developing systems of care,” she added. Dr. Ola Ghaleb Al Ahdab – Pharmaceutical Advisor, Drug Department & CPD – Pharma Founder & Program Manager, Ministry of Health and Prevention, UAE stressed that providing world-class healthcare is one of the priority areas of the UAE’s National Agenda 2021. Dr. Stephen Arkle – Commissioner, Commission of Academic Accreditation (CAA), Ministry of Education, UAE observed that pharmacy programs offered by UAE Universities and colleges are able to attract serious and able students, as well as good quality faculty from around the world.
The two keynote speeches at the summit were delivered by internationally distinguished experts Prof. Claire Anderson – Professor of Social Pharmacy, Faculty of Science, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom; and Dr. Lucinda Maine – Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, United States of America.
Participating academic institutions in the summit included Al Ain University of Science Technology, Ajman University, Dubai Pharmacy College, Fatima College of Health Sciences, Higher Colleges of Technology, Ras Al Khaimah Medical & Health Sciences University, University of Sharjah, Abu Dhabi University, and Gulf Medical University.