BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, August 10, 2023 (SKNIS) – Pharmacists, healthcare practitioners, researchers and other stakeholders from across the region are gathered here in St. Kitts and Nevis this week for the Caribbean Association of Pharmacists (CAP) 43rd Annual Convention, which is being hosted in St. Kitts from August 8-12, 2023, where the latest developments in the pharmaceutical field are being discussed at length.
The 2023 convention is being held under the theme, “Ensuring Sustainable Healthcare for the Caribbean and the Future.”
The Caribbean Association of Pharmacists is a network of care providers dedicated to advancing the development and empowerment of Caribbean people through excellence in the provision of all aspects of pharmacy practice.
The opening ceremony for this year’s event was held on Wednesday (August 09) evening at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and featured remarks by officials including the President of the Caribbean Association of Pharmacists, Ms. Kalawattie Datt-Singh and Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew.
In his address, Prime Minister Dr. Drew described the theme as apt and timely, particularly as it relates to the transition taking place in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We are seeking to build out a Sustainable Island State here in St. Kitts and Nevis and healthcare is one of the fundamental pillars. Pharmacists in the Caribbean sub-region can indeed achieve this ideal by expanding their roles and responsibilities within the healthcare team. Pharmacists have a unique knowledge base and a unique skill set that help to ensure the safe dispensation and use of medication by patients and their caregivers. Pharmacists ensure that patients receive the correct medication and dosage. You provide information on medicines and guidance needed to use the medication safely and effectively,” said Prime Minister Dr. Drew, who is also the Minister of Health in the Federal Cabinet of St. Kitts and Nevis.
In the continued fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the region, the St. Kitts and Nevis prime minister said pharmacists can play a crucial role in reducing the high incidences across the region through informed discussions with patients.
Prime Minister Dr. Drew added, “Pharmacists in St. Kitts and Nevis and the wider Caribbean have an expanding role to play in the management of chronically ill patients. Community pharmacists can help provide support to patients with NCDs like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and asthma. Pharmacists can encourage adherence to medication and manage repeat prescriptions. You can help monitor blood sugar and blood pressure values through pharmacist-patient interactions and identifying patients who are not responding to prescribed medications and those who are experiencing adverse effects and even complications.”
Dr. Drew wished the convention every success, noting that the discussions and decisions made over the next few days should redound to the advancement and delivery of quality healthcare services in the region.
“I want to challenge you and to challenge the conference organizers and presenters to help the current cadre of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians realize their fullest potential in this vital field of medicine as they navigate this paradigm shift, the paradigm shift of being fully integrated into the health team,” Prime Minister Drew ended.
At the end of the official ceremony, CAP President Ms. Datt-Singh led Prime Minister Drew on a tour of the various booths that were set up to display some of the latest information and products in modern medicine.
Also joining the pharmacists from across the region at the opening of the Caribbean Association of Pharmacists (CAP) 43rd Annual Convention were Senior Minister the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sharon Archibald and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws.