Reflections on 2023
As we step into 2024, the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA) looks back on an impactful year of advocacy, expanding our footprint on the global stage and strengthening key stakeholder relationships.
Deepening Relations with WHO
One highlight of 2023 was our attendance at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, creating an opportunity to meet many of our WHO collaborators and global health partners face to face.
We are currently the only Commonwealth-accredited health organisation in special relations with the World Health Organization (WHO), and have worked hard to achieve this status. Our collaboration plan with WHO involves several initiatives:
- In partnership with the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), we’ve made substantial progress in the collection and analysis of pharmacy workforce data, offering valuable insights into global trends and needs.
- We continue to record and report to WHO the impact of our AMR programmes in helping to deliver on country level National AMR Action Plans.
- We once again actively supported WHO’s World Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Week Campaign, amplifying its critical message and driving awareness about AMR challenges, reporting to them the impact of our campaigns
- We are currently collating reports from our member organisations on the role of pharmacists across the Commonwealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting on best practices and learnings for pandemic preparedness in the future.
Strengthening Collaboration with FIP
Our collaboration with FIP was further solidified through the renewal of our Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This led to us becoming an Allied Organization in 2024, paving the way to enhancing our contributions to FIP’s work, building on our shared values and goals.
We are particularly excited about the mutual collaboration and resource sharing opportunities this collaboration will bring, focusing initially on comprehensive workforce data collection and analysis and our extensive online learning resources. Our CEO also sits as an expert advisor on the FIP AMR commission, who are actively planning their input into the FIP 2024 Congress in South Africa.
Expanding Our Alliances
The past year was marked by expanding our collaborative efforts, evident through several new and renewed MOUs with key aligned organisations:
- Collaborating with Australians and Sri Lankans for Pharmacy Practice Education and Research (CASSPER) to foster pharmacy workforce development in Sri Lanka, a project aimed at enhancing the quality and reach of pharmacy education and practice.
- Partnering with the British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) to strengthen our AMR programmes, aligning our efforts with global initiatives to combat AMR.
- Working with the Medicines Optimisation and Innovation Centre (MOIC) to share resources and explore innovative opportunities in medicines optimization, aiming to improve patient outcomes through better medicine use.
- Extending our partnership with BookAid, a key component in ensuring the long-term sustainability of our PharmAid scheme, which is crucial in providing essential resources to pharmacists in under-resourced settings.
- Preparing to renew our MoU with the Journal of Pharmaceutical Practice and Policy (JOPPP), our official Journal, which plays a vital role in disseminating cutting-edge research and insights in pharmaceutical practice.
Active Involvement in CHPA
Our involvement with the Commonwealth Health Professions and Partners Alliance (CHPA) has been instrumental in shaping health policies and making tangible impacts across the Commonwealth. This includes:
- Active participation in the Commonwealth Civil Society Forum, where CHPA collectively presented key recommendations to health ministers at the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Health (CACH) and the annual Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting. These recommendations are aimed at addressing pressing health challenges and improving healthcare delivery across the Commonwealth nations.
- Developing a comprehensive policy statement and a call to action on substandard and falsified (SF) medicines. This initiative, in collaboration with Togo’s Health Ministry and the Brazzerville Foundation, seeks to combat the growing threat of SF medicines, ensuring safer and more effective healthcare treatments.
Engagement and Advocacy in 2023
In 2023, the CPA was at the forefront of several key initiatives, particularly noteworthy are their contributions to the Commonwealth Year of the Youth:
- We continue to contribute significantly to dialogues addressing issues around health such as the global health workforce crisis, medicines shortages, AMR and substandard and falsified medicines.
- Our World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) webinar, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Youth Health Network, was a resounding success, drawing attention to critical issues surrounding AMR and engaging a broad audience in meaningful discussions.
- We continue to actively prepare for high-level engagements at the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) focusing on AMR and building resilient health systems, positioning ourselves as a key player in shaping global health policies.
Raising Awareness and Future Focus
Our Commonwealth Pharmacists Day campaign, themed ‘Your Pharmacist, Your Partner in Health’, was a major highlight of 2023, significantly contributing to public health education and emphasising the essential role of pharmacists in healthcare delivery.
As we embark on 2024, the CPA remains committed to championing the role of pharmacists in fostering a healthier Commonwealth.
Chief Executive Officer Commonwealth Pharmacists Association
Mary Anne Ciappara
President and Regional Representative for Europe, Commonwealth Pharmacists Association
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