West Africa Pharma and Healthcare Expo 2024 opened in Accra  

The third West Africa Pharma and Healthcare Expo opened in Accra, with the government pledging to make Ghana’s pharmaceutical hub the biggest on the African continent. 

Dr Benard Okoe Boye, the minister-designate of health, who opened the conference and exhibition on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo on Wednesday, stated that the government remained committed to leveraging the potential of e-pharmacy and digital health to transform healthcare delivery. 

The two-day Expo, held at the Accra International Conference Center, is expected to provide an opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry to explore the transformative potential of e-pharmacy and digital health delivery in West Africa. 

According to Dr Oko Boye, statistics reveal that digital advancements like expo telemedicine and mobile health applications are changing the way people get healthcare services. 

“In West Africa, mobile penetration stands at over 80 per cent indicating a vast potential for leveraging digital platforms to improve healthcare access and delivery,” he said. 

Commenting on the Expo’s theme, “E-pharmacy and Digital Health,” Dr Oko Boye emphasized the need for the pharmaceutical industry to embrace e-pharmacy to enhance efficiency, accessibility, and affordability within healthcare systems. 

“With over 50 per cent of Africans having access to the internet, digital health solutions have the potential to overcome long-standing barriers and ensure that quality healthcare is accessible to all citizens, regardless of geographical location or socioeconomic status,” he said. 

Dr. Okoe Boye stated that a recent regional assembly in Dakar, which focused on pharmacy practice regulation and electronic pharmacy, highlighted the importance of member countries embracing and adopting a National Electronic Pharmacy Platform concept. 

He said Ghana’s National Electronic Pharmacy Platform ecosystem had reached 226 operational electronic pharmacies as of August 2023. 

However, data privacy has remained a worry in e-health, with reports indicating that just forty per cent of healthcare businesses have strong data security mechanisms in place. 

Mr Harrison Abutiate, CEO of Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy, said the Expo would champion pharmaceutical excellence in Ghana and beyond.  

He said the chamber’s pharmaceutical business groups include 343 pharmaceutical importers, 1,500 pharmaceutical wholesalers, 5,000 pharmaceutical retailers, over 19,000 over-the-counter medicine sellers, and 500 small-scale manufacturers. 

Mr Abutiate said the chamber was poised to contribute its part to advance e-health services in the country and beyond. 

Mr. Thomas James, the Chief Executive of WegVoraus, organizers of the Expo said exhibitors from India, Ghana, Turkey, Pakistan, USA and Italy are participating in the exhibition. 

“The exhibition would serve as an avenue for pharmaceutical manufacturers, importers and suppliers to partner with each other to improve investment in the industry,” he said. 


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