The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) has launched the 2022 World Pharmacists Day with a focus on increasing obesity awareness among the public.

The launch of the Day marked on September 25 each year was preceded by a 6km walk by members of the society to engage the public on healthy living.

The theme of this year’s event is “Pharmacy united in action for a healthier world” which aims to showcase pharmacy’s positive impact on health around the world and to further strengthen solidarity within the profession.

PSGH, Vice President, Pharm. Kwabena Asante Offei, addressing the media after the walk, said obesity was chosen due to the increasing prevalence of the health condition among the public.

He said obesity has become a serious public health concern globally and it has been proven to contribute significantly to the development of several chronic diseases such as type II diabetes mellitus, hypertension, some cancers, asthma, and psychological stress.

“In addition, obesity has been found to be associated with worse COVID-19 clinical outcomes. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that at least 2.8 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese,” he said.

Pharm. Offei said there is a high prevalence of overweight and obesity among Ghanaian adults citing a systematic review and meta-analysis by pharmacist Richard Ofori-Asenso and his colleagues which indicated that nearly 43 per cent of adults in the country are either overweight or obese, particularly among those living in urban and peri-urban areas.

“Public health preventive measures that are appropriate for the Ghanaian context, culturally sensitive, cost-effective and sustainable are urgently needed to tackle this epidemic”, he quoted the researchers.

The PSGH Vice President, thus noted that over the next twelve months, pharmacists through its regional branches and wide network of community pharmacies across the country, will create and sustain awareness about overweight and obesity complications.

“The PSGH chosen theme for our public health activities for 2022 & 2023 is on Obesity, dubbed “My Weight My Health. To start with, from 25th September to 25th October of this year, all community pharmacies across the country will be offering free Body Mass Index (BMI) checks and offer appropriate counseling on obesity for all clients who will be willing to take advantage of the service,” he said.

He used the platform to urge every Ghanaian to have a personal pharmacist whom they can call upon anytime for advice, counseling and health information particularly on medications they take either prescribed or over the counter.

“We urge everyone to demand to see the Pharmacist anytime you visit a Pharmacy and together we will deliver on our motto as truly Friends of the Human Race,” he said.

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