Caye Caulker Chairlady Seleny Villanueva-Pott is the new president of the Pharmacists Association of Belize

Friday, October 15th, 2021

The Pharmacists Association of Belize is back and with a new leader. Caye Caulker Chairlady Seleny Villanueva-Pott was elected as the new president during a virtual meeting of their membership on Tuesday, October 12th.

Pott, who has been a pharmacist for the past 11 years, is happy and honored for her new role. The association had been dormant following the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, but Pott has plans to be up and running once again. “Everybody has been busy in their pharmacists’ role as we do play an integral part in the healthcare system,” said Pott. She said that recently they discussed the need to revive the association, and it was decided that the time was now.

Pharmacists, also frontline workers in the healthcare system, are looking forward to having a voice in the health sector through the national association. Pott said the association wants to have a better working relationship with the Ministry of Health and Wellness. “We believe as pharmacists, we are better prepared, and we want to have a stance and a voice in the deciding,” she said. Pott said they have educated professionals and can contribute significantly to the ministry’s efforts against the pandemic. The association also would like to have a better rapport with the public in terms of diseases, different conditions, like COVID-19, to mention one.

In the past, the group had been at odds with the government. One of these instances was in 2017 when the government implemented a new regime of standards for the pharmaceutical industry, called ‘Food and Drugs Regulations.’ They claimed that the then Minister of Health, Pablo Marin, did not consult with them before implementing the new regulations. According to the association, such new rules would have consequential effects on the reliability of medications sold in the country.

It is yet to be seen how the relationship with the current administration and its Ministry of Health and Wellness will be.


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