Award-winning Pharmacist, Josephine Ataa Hinneh

Award-winning Pharmacist, Josephine Ataa Hinneh
5 min read

Pharmacists all around the world are mainly responsible for dispensing drugs and medicines prescribed by health practitioners or physicians. Pharmacists therefore should have the medical know-how to be able to inform their customers about the uses and effects (side effects and hazards) of any prescribed drug.

However, more knowledge and training in the Pharmaceutical Sciences are opening up more career opportunities than just the practice of pharmacy.

“With additional education and training, a qualified Pharmacist can teach in colleges of pharmacy, supervise the manufacture of Pharmaceuticals, or become involved with the research and development of new medicines. With more academic work, Pharmacists can also move into Pharmacology or become Pharmaceutical Chemists. The academically minded Pharmacists can combine Pharmaceutical and Legal Education to pursue jobs as Patent Lawyers or Consultants on Pharmaceutical and drug laws.”


What does Ghana have to offer in this field?

Today we feature Josephine Ataa Hinneh, a young award-winning Pharmacy graduate from the University of Ghana.

Josephine Ataa Hinneh

Josephine hails from Nsuatre in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. She attended the Pentecost Preparatory School, Old estate, for her primary school education. She proceeded to the Wesley Girls’ High School in Cape Coast for her secondary education, where she studied Science. She then gained admission into the University of Ghana’s School Of Pharmacy and eventually obtained a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree.

Josephine has won awards for being the Overall Best Student in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Toxicology. She emerged as the overall Best Female Graduating Student from the University’s School Of Pharmacy during her undergraduate career.

Josephine receiving her award from the Minister of Health, Madam Sherry Ayittey. (Photo Source: University of Ghana Website)

Being the hardworking lady that she is, Josephine also recently received the John Ocran Award for being the Overall Best Candidate in the 2013 Ghana Pharmacy Professional Qualifying Examinations at an induction ceremony for 205 newly qualified and registered Pharmacists. In addition, she received the Pharmacy Practice Award.

  • How do all your achievements make you feel? And what effort went into attaining each and every one of them?

“When I heard that I was winning those awards, I was so excited and could not contain my joy. I felt it was a crowning of my hard work. The road to success is not as rosy as you see it in the end. It was marked with peaks and troughs, high lands and low lands, but looking up unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, it was made possible.”

  • Why did you want to become a Pharmacist?

“The inspiration to become a Pharmacist started when I watched an advertisement about multivitamins for children. I really wanted to learn how to make the drugs, and I remember telling my mum that I was going to prepare those vitamins so she would not have to buy them anymore. I got to know more about Pharmacy in high school, and surprisingly, I was the only one who wanted to pursue Pharmacy in my class. With the support from my parents, I chose to study Pharmacy. I have had no regrets.”

  • What are your career plans? 

“My aim now is to do further studies in Immunology, focusing more on the formulation of Immunological products. I would also like to come back to the University to teach and spearhead research in this area.”

  • What characterizes an ideal Pharmacist from your point of view?

“An ideal Pharmacist I believe, can all be summarized into what we call “The Seven Star Pharmacist” which comprises the following:

–  Care giver

–  Decision maker

–  Communicator

–  Leader

–  Manager

–  Life-long learner

–  Teacher

I believe if Pharmacists are able to inculcate these values into their daily activities, we can begin to see them as ideal for their job.”

  • What problematic situations can occur in the daily job of a Pharmacist in Ghana?

“The challenges faced by Pharmacists are enormous and peculiar to the various specialties in the field. However, it ranges from labour issues to patients and even other healthcare team members. These are challenges than need to be dealt with properly and professionally.”

  • Any final words?

“I would like to tell everyone out there that all things are possible to them that believe. Trust in God first and foremost, be determined, focused and disciplined and you shall achieve what you have set up your mind to achieve. Lastly, whatever is worth doing is worth doing well.”