Over 300 delegates at Pharmacy Conference

The Jesuit Church in Valletta was the historic venue for the opening of the annual conference of the European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy [EAFP]. A Pharmacy Dept/Junior College choir and student musicians welcomed the150 delegates from all over Europe.  Also participating in the conference are150 pharmacy students.  This annual conference attracts all the top academics in the field of Pharmacy as well as representatives of the Pharmaceutical group of the European Union; the European Society of Clinical Pharmacy; the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists; the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and the American Accreditation Committee of Colleges of Pharmacy.  These groups, all key to the development of the profession of Pharmacy, are here to discuss important issues such as the recognition of degrees; EU directives and course content.

Apart from the plenary and round table discussions, the three-day conference includes poster presentations by students and academics.  It represents a golden opportunity for networking, particularly for Maltese students as it gives them a rare chance to get to know the significant figures in their field.  The organisers of this annual conference always insist that students take part as much as possible and Maltese Pharmacy students, from first to fifth years, have all been involved.  Both the girls and the boys can be seen dressed up in Maltese costume to welcome the delegates at various cultural venues. Even the conference photographs have been taken by Pharmacy students Dustin Balzan and Kenneth Ellul.

A group of 80 was entertained to organ music at St Lawrence Church in Birgu while a student orchestra played during a reception at the Ministry of Health in Valletta. The participants particularly enjoyed the exhibition at the Knights' Hall that includes the history of medical and pharmacy practice in Malta. During the opening ceremony, attended by the Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr Louis Deguara, a keynote address, entitled: Pharmacy and Pharmacists before the time of the Knights of St John, was given by Prof. Stanley Fiorini.  After the opening, the delegates were received by H.E. Dr George Hyzler, Acting President, at the Palace in Valletta.  The main sponsor of the EAFP Conference is ACTAVIS.

L to R Prof. A. Serracino Inglott, Head of the Dept of Pharmacy, University of Malta; Dr Peter Kielgast, Past President of the International Federation of Pharmacists; H.E. Dr George Hyzler, Acting President of Malta; Prof. Benito del Castillo Garcia, (President, European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy [EAFP])

Prof. A. Serracino Inglott, Head of the Dept of Pharmacy, University of Malta addressing the EAFP Conference participants during the opening ceremony at the Jesuit Church, Valletta.

Alfie Palmier, a 2nd Year Pharmacy student, sings during the opening ceremony of the EAFP Conference at the Jesuit Church, Valletta