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UNESCO renews unique agreement to develop pharmacy education with FIP

Development of pharmacy education around the world through a unique collaboration between the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), University College London School of Pharmacy and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is to continue for a further four years.

The collaboration is a UNESCO-sponsored programme known as the Global Pharmacy Education Development Network (GPhEd). Launched in 2010, this was the first programme for health professionals under UNESCO’s University Twinning and Networking Programme (UNITWIN). This global network has brought together pharmacy schools and stakeholders from across the globe with aims of synchronising powerful development in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences education, improving communication for scientific innovation and healthcare outcomes and, ultimately, enabling attainment of Millienium Development Goals.

UNESCO has renewed the agreement with FIP “in light of the very good results achieved”. Major achievements of the network so far have included the development a Global Pharmacy Workforce Observatory (which collates pharmacy workforce data with the long-term aim of improving access to medicines and care) and the creation of a Centre of Excellence across Africa (which currently works to enhance professional education in pharmacy schools in Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Namibia and Malawi).

“Being reaccredited for a further four years shows that the network has credibility and value for UNESCO and the wider development community, and that our project goals continue to be relevant and successful,” said Professor Jennifer Marriot, director of the FIP UNESCO-UNITWIN collaboration.

“The renewal will support further work to enhance education, development and workforce planning at global level, including a new venture with Monash University, Australia, to develop a ‘global community of practice for pharmacy educators’,” said GPhEd coordinator Professor Ian Bates.

“Such projects make the future very exciting for our global network. Using the UNITWIN banner we are able to provide better linkages with countries and promote the whole initiative better at global level,” Professor Bates added.