The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) pharmacy students who embarked on a six-week study exchange programme at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) in Florida, USA have returned home safely.
The initiative in its second edition facilitated 26 pharmacy students and four professional workers to visit FAMU,Florida, USA for an exchange programme this year.
It was described as an ambitious agenda for deepening bilateral relations between Ghana and Florida, USA, through health education for university students, whiles targeted at allowing students and participants to acquaint themselves with current trends in global health care systems.
The programme focused on disease epidemics, modern pharmaceutical practices, and cultural exchanges and environmental issues, and will be aimed at improving the knowledge capacity of the students about health system to enable them give back to their country upon successful completion of the programme
The lead initiator of the programme, FAMU’s College of Pharmacy signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the sister university in Ghana–KNUST to explore exchange programme in the area of pharmacy education for students from both countries to study abroad, relating to academic and research affiliations.
Interacting with the media at the Kotoka International airport, Accra, upon the group’s arrival, a Ghanaian faculty Advisor of Student Associations of Global Health at FAMU, Dr. Yussif Mijirah Dokurugu, urged beneficiary students to channel the newly acquired skill into improving the country’s health system.
He said the exchange programme created an opportunity for the student to explore and learn new health methods and practices which will help grow Ghana’s health systems as they returned home.
“I entreat all students and participants on the exchange programme to put to use your newly acquired skill. It is an opportunity impact the helth system with the new trends in health practices as you are back in Ghana to make a change in the lives of people and the entire society,” he said.
Dr. Dokurugu – who is also an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, advised that “It is always good to travel and make sure to return home, and apply again when the need arises.”
Dr. Dokurugu , explaining about the initiative, confirmed that it is an ambitious agenda being explored by the school: “One that the college is tackling through an academic and cultural exchanges to broaden the horizons of the next generation of health care practitioners”.
He anticipates that the selected students from both sides have been offered the chance to get a better understanding of best practices and systems that are in place in both nations and will allow them to bring back new ideas.
Dr. Dokurugu added: “Overseas study adventures provide students with distinct benefits, as they develop responsibility, initiative and accountability.
“I wanted them to learn as much as possible to be able to contribute positively to the health care delivery of every single person they may come across in their future practices back at home.”
He indicated that the engagement during their internship explored various areas of collaboration, including student exchange programmes and partnerships with other celebrated health experts in the United States of America.
“As the Institute of Public Health within the College continues to grow, this internship programme will provide an opportunity for FAMU to cultivate to a diverse workforce of individuals to be able to analyse public health issues both at home and abroad,” said Dr. Dokurugu .
The programme, he said, has been designed to give the students first-hand experience in global health issues. It will also provide them with a spring-board to compete for jobs in the field.
“This will position participating students to be fully equipped for employment in their selected programmes, governmental and non-governmental agencies where a knowledge of international systems is pertinent to jobs, even in the USA,” he remarked.
As part of the exchange programme, Dr. Dokurugu also brought in 27 USA students and faculty members for a 10 days educational and cultural immersion experience in March this year.
As part of the exchange programme, leaders of UDS and Legon are in talks to sign MoU that will allow their students participate in the programme for mutual benefits.