Bahamas Conference Report, 2013

Bahamas Conference Report, 2013

Commonwealth Pharmacists’ Association Conference held in Nassau, Bahamas in August 2013.

The 12th Conference of the Commonwealth Pharmacists’ Association (CPA) took place in Nassau, Bahamas from 11th to 18th August 2013 and was attended by delegates from 42 countries. It was hosted by the Bahamas Pharmaceutical Association (BPA) and run in conjunction with the Caribbean Association of Pharmacists (CAP) annual Conference. Nearly 200 Pharmacists attended sessions, meetings and social events which were held at the Conference Centre in the Atlantis Hotel in Nassau. The overall theme for the Conference was “Enhancing Optimal Pharmaceutical Care through Technology”.

Key matters which took place at the Conference

Representatives from the three Pharmaceutical organisations were invited to meet the Governor-General of the Bahamas, Sir Arthur Foulkes, and during an hour-long visit were able to discuss a number of issues including the Pharmacists’ roles in taking forward the new Health Insurance Plan being introduced into the Bahamas. The Delegation was led by the President of CPA, Mr Raymond Anderson, the President of CAP, Mrs Yvonne Reid, and the President of BPA, Mr Stephon Flowers. CPA members who were at the meeting included, Mr Martin Astbury, President of the RPS and Mr Roger Odd, Hon. Secretary of CPA. The Governor-General and senior members of the Bahamas Ministry of Health attended the official Opening Ceremony which marked the start of the Conference.

With the kind support of the Commonwealth Foundation, a successful Workshop took place which emphasized the role of the Pharmacist in working with people with disabilities. An attendance of over 240 people included Pharmacists, Healthcare professionals and support staff, as well as representatives from many disability groups in the Bahamas. The Workshop highlighted the needs of people who were physically or mentally disabled and how Pharmacists could offer help and support, often using new technological aids that were available. An inspiring talk was given by Iris Adderley, a Consultant Psychologist, from the Disabilities Division, Ministry of Social Services, on the disparities in accessing health care and services in the Bahamas. During the breakout sessions, Pharmacists were given instruction in sign language and help in understanding the current trends in the Management of Depression. A number of ideas were taken away from the workshop, which could be put into practice in the Bahamas as well as in other Commonwealth countries.

The President of CPA, Mr Raymond Anderson, gave a very informed presentation about his experiences of Pharmacy Prescribing in the Community, relating them to his own practices in Northern Ireland, whilst the President of the Bangladesh Pharmaceutical Society, Mr Nasser Zahedee, spoke about the introduction of regulations in Bangladesh which had gone a long way in converting medicine shops into retail pharmacies in his country. Helen Gordon, CEO of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, introduced the new RPS Faculty as a way of advancing Pharmacy practice in the United Kingdom, whilst Roger Odd, in presenting the BV Patel Lecture, gave a detailed overview about the formation and role of CPA and the relevance of international organisations in supporting developing countries and promoting best practice world-wide. Amongst other stimulating presentations at the Conference was a lecture by Dr Jeff Nagge of the Ontario Pharmacists’ Association in Canada about Novel Oral Anticoagulants for Atrial Fibrillation, and another from Dr Ernestine Watson, from the University of Technology in Jamaica about New Therapies and Clinical Applications in the Treatment of Breast Cancer.

At the end of the Conference, a Communiqué was agreed which set out the key points to be taken back to each member country of the Commonwealth.

CPA Council

At the CPA Council meeting which took place during the Conference, a “Ten Point Implementation Plan” was agreed regarding the development of CPA over the next five years.

It highlighted the need to offer more electronic education and training courses for CPA members, to make the organisation and its members more accessible through greater use of modern technology and to support Pharmaceutical Societies in the Commonwealth in their quest to have greater involvement where national medicine policies were being considered.

During the Council meeting, the new CPA Executive team was announced as follows:

President – Raymond Anderson

Vice Presidents – Lorraine Osman (Eastern and Southern Africa), Thomas Tucker (West Africa)

Regional Representatives – Martin Astbury (Europe), Andrew McLachlan (Pacific), Kalawattie Datt-Singh (Americas), Suresh Bhojraj (Asia)

Secretariat – Roger Odd (Honorary Secretary), John Farwell (Honorary Treasurer)

It was confirmed that the next Conference of the Commonwealth Pharmacists’ Association would be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in October 2015.