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Interview with Maposa

Prosper Maposa is our personality of December

By Fabrice HUMURA, Regional Media and Publications Officer.

Trust me, the name Prosper MAPOSA is not new within IPSF, particularly in the AfRO region where we saw him take the lead on various platform. He could spared some time with us and AfRO media and publication officer could interview him. So here is how it went!

As we start our interview, tell us who Prosper Maposa is.

Hello I am Prosper Maposa and in short, we could say I am a passionate pharmacist with interests in Global Leadership. I am part of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers community. I have post graduate training in Procurement and Supply and I am currently pursuing further studies in Health Economics at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

Everyone has a specific story of how they partook pharmacy, what is yours? Was it out of the blue? Share with us on that

It’s actually a funny story. I had always been a fan of making things (translating ideas into products that people find useful). So I was going to do engineering in South Africa, I got my placement but was not sure if I wanted to spend six years away from home. I then decided to apply to a local university for fun, after getting all the grades, I then decided to apply for pharmacy. Since then, I have always dreamed of inventing a cure to HIV one day.

While in pharmacy school, what was your favorite lecture?

Pharmaceutics was always interesting! It gave me an opportunity to imagine what happens to medicines and what they do to the body. I went further with it and most of my research has been in nanotechnology for which our team received grants and awards.

What leadership positions did you hold while still in school? (Prior IPSF positions)

I used to be the convener of our local student conferences, coordinator of national public health campaigns and I sat on the board of the Pharmaceutical Society of Zimbabwe to represent students. I was also the President of the Zimbabwe Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (ZPSA)

You are known to have led in various IPSF platforms starting from AfRO chairperson, how did you catch the bull by its horns and emerge as leader to such great level?

Well this was one of the most exciting and adventurous period of my life. It was filled with a lot of personal sacrifice for the greater good. I had to save a bit of money and apply for grants and support. This allowed me to travel for conferences, workshops and trainings and presented a platform for me to network with pharmacy leaders globally. In IPSF I managed to learn the official documents and leapfrog for changes that ensured the empowerment of our region. My journey in IPSF started with me being a Contact Person and Official Delegate for Zimbabwe, I was then elected to the position of AfRO Secretary then AfRO Chairperson then IPSF Vice President then IPSF Advisor and lastly, I worked tirelessly with the team that brought the IPSF World Congress to AfRO for the first time in over two decades.

Pharmacy is a demanding career which needs complete dedication, sometimes while studying. How did you manage leadership and studies?

I owe most of the gratitude to the soft skills trainings that I got whilst I was in IPSF. It is not easy as I sit in a couple of boards, volunteer for the profession, have a full time job and also go to school. The key is self discipline and learning the honest art of saying no when you genuinely know that you can’t deliver on certain opportunities.

This year we are celebrating 10 years of AfRO existence, how do you rate AfRO’s performance so far?

AfRO has grown and evolved and I am proud of the achievements the subsequent teams have been carrying forward. I hope we keep the momentum as a region and develop more sustainable and repeatable projects with committed partners.

Could you Share with me some of the great memories you had while you were chairperson?

Great memories were the times I met old friends and also the making of news ones at events. I am proud as I look back at people who I saw being new to IPSF, those I have personally worked with and are also on their way to becoming iconic leaders in the industry and globally. I have worked with a couple of executive committees and AfRO Region Committee, and a lot of young pharmacists have become family! We go to each other’s weddings etc. Becoming a global citizen is amazing.

You have been travelling in many countries meeting different people from all works of life, how have you been seeing the Pharmacy career in terms of opportunities and improved practice?

I think travelling is important for exposure however it is what you do with the exposure that matters more. The profession has been evolving and the need to integrate emerging technologies is even critical in Africa to maximize use of the available resources. Opportunities are there but I would like to pose a challenge so that we can create more of them through innovative thinking.

What advice can you offer to young upcoming pharmacy professionals?

The future is bright and it needs for you to start positioning yourself now. Volunteer and learn, try new things, don’t wait to become a professional start now because your life is not a rehearsal it is the real thing.

We are almost done with our conversation, but before departing I’d love to hear your parting message.

Let us enjoy the world whilst making it a better place. Always remember that we owe it to the future generations. If you and I are committed in what we do success is imminent through learning, collaborating and innovating.

Thank you Maposa for your time and great insights.

Thank you!

rmpo@afro.ipsf.org

A Poem

A Poem

By Raphael Raphael

And Bacteria says to antibiotics...
You hit me once and killed me
Yet I resurrected
You hit me again this time I fainted
Yet I survived
You hit me once more
I staggered and fell
Yet I healed
You come at me once again
But this time I was strong
I got used to what you do to me
I loved the pain
I have become resistant

#AMRAwarenessDay
#ThinkTwiceSeekAdvice
#HandlewithCare

#IPSFaware

Raphael Raphael is a student at Igbinedion University, Okada.

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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE

By Alegbe, Precious Tamaralayefa 

Antimicrobial resistance according to World Health Organization(WHO) is the ability of  micro-organisms(like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antimalarials, antivirals) from working against it. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and spread.

 

Firstly, what do we say antimicrobials are?
They are substances that are capable, even in high dilution, of killing or inhibiting the growth of micro-organisms. They may be subdivided into Antibiotics which are derived from the growth of micro-organisms (which include; Streptomycin, Cephalexin, Erythromycin, Amoxycilin, Candicidin, Polymycin, Tetracycline, etc.) and Chemotherapeutic Substances which are synthetic agents not occurring naturally(which include; Clotrimazole, Metronidazole, Miconazole, etc.)

 

Secondly, how do we say AMR occurs and what are the causes?
AMR occurs when bacteria change in some way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections.

The spread of AMR is a growing problem across the world and a serious threat to patients safety.

The overuse of antibiotics is a contributing factor to AMR.

The misuse of antibiotics and other antimicrobials, also accelerates AMR.

Also Note that

  • AMR kills- this is due to the non response of the body to treatment.
  • AMR hinders the control of infectious diseases.
  • AMR increases the cost of health care.
  • Poor infection control practices encourage the spread of AMR.

 

ROLES OF PHARMACISTS IN TACKLING AMR

  • Antibiotics should be prescribed only on the clinical diagnosis of bacterial infections.
  • Antibiotics and other antimicrobials should be stored in a dry, clean and well ventilated area at room temperature between 15°C-25°C to prevent degradation of antibiotics which is also a contributing factor of AMR.
  • Pharmacists should cultivate the habit of patient-counselling, for this will immensely increase patient-compliance. Thereby, avoiding/preventing the abuse, misuse and overuse of antibiotics.
  • Public awareness should be made across the community pharmacies and hospital pharmacies in ways of posters, bills and other promotional materials to enlighten the general public on the consequences of AMR.

ROLES OF PHARMACY STUDENTS
Pharmacy students also have roles to play in the tackling of AMR.
The major role we can play is by creating public awareness in every way possible, which may be by;
• Organizing campaigns and reaching out to youths, pregnant women, etc. to  enlighten them on the proper use of antibiotics and also the dangers on the abuse, misuse and overuse of antibiotics.

  • Organizing online campaigns also, which will help in the spread of AMR gospel on every social media platform.

ADVICE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC

  • Do not use antibiotics without any clinical diagnosis of bacterial infections.
  • Always seek professional advice before taking antibiotics and other antimicrobials. Stop self-medication.
  • Use antibiotics as prescribed, do not take them for no reason.
  • Always complete an antibiotics dosage. Incomplete doses or under dose may also cause AMR.

Alegbe, Precious Tamaralayefa is a student from Igbinedion University, Okada.

 

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Antimicrobial Resistance: One of the Major Public Health Issues

Antimicrobial Resistance: One of the Major Public Health Issues

By Adebisi Yusuff Adebayo

Development of resistance against antimicrobial agents is known to be one of the greatest global public health problems of the twenty-first century. According to The Center for Diseases Control (CDC), drug resistance (AMR) is the 2nd   most expressive global health threat in 2014. Irrational use of antimicrobials provides advantageous conditions for resistant microbes to spread and also to thrive and replicate.

A recent report was made by Economist Jim O' Neil where he suggested that the cost of antimicrobials globally due to resistance could lead to loss of 10,000,000 lives a year by 2050 and cost one hundred trillion USD annually.

Antimicrobial resistance is one of the major global public health problems. The problem is becoming serious since most of the antimicrobials are already in their last line of use. Drugs are known to improve the quality of lives and ensure increase in life span of patients which further stresses the need to address antimicrobial resistance in healthcare.
Antimicrobial resistance has become a great problem evident in increase in death rate, higher healthcare cost and prolonged hospital stay due to the fact that microbes are developing resistance to the drugs which have once been proven to show therapeutic actions.

This can affect anyone, in any country and of any age. There are a lot of factors that contribute to this. Antimicrobial resistances are seriously on a war path and obviously have gained edge. Their actions are evidently propelling the development of resistance to medicinal agents.

Rampant inappropriate use of antibiotics among the population and livestock by the farmers, circulation of counterfeit drugs and substandard prescriptions together with poor diagnosis, or lack of it are adding fuel to the already fired path of resistance.

In various regions of the world, antibiotics can be purchased over the counter with little or no medical advice by most of patent medicine dealers basically due to lack of knowledge.
African countries have high load of infectious diseases (e.g. the air and water-borne diseases) especially the Sub Saharan region of Africa among its population and the use of medicinal agents with antimicrobial effects especially antibiotics has been widely used to treat various infections.

A growing number of infections such as gonorrhea, malaria, typhoid, tuberculosis, etc. are becoming difficult to treat. Indiscriminate and irrational use of antibiotics has led to bacteria developing resistance against the drugs. Antimicrobial resistance indeed raises concern on the long term sustainable effectiveness of most antibiotics used to treat various infectious diseases, it's potential impact on the country's health and how it affects the global health and economy at large.
Antibiotics resistance thrive more in areas where antibiotics can be purchased for animal or human use without a prescription. This made the emergence and spread of resistance worse. Also, in countries that do not have or do not strictly follow the standard treatment guidelines, irrational use of antibiotics is also rampant. Without urgent action, minor injuries and common infections will claim more lives in years to come which is termed post-antibiotics era.

Antibiotics resistance also poses modern medicine at risk since organ transplantations, chemotherapy and surgeries become much more dangerous without effective antibiotics. To prevent and control the spread of antibiotic resistance, we all have roles to play ranging from individuals, policy makers, health professionals, healthcare industry to the agricultural sector.
As an individual, we have major role to play in curtailing this threat by ensuring that we only use antibiotics when prescribed by a certified healthcare professional, avoiding overuse of antibiotics, never sharing antibiotics with friends or family members, following the advice given by healthcare professionals on the use of antibiotics, practicing regular hand washing, preparing food under hygienic condition, practicing safe sex and being vaccinated up to date.

The role that needs to be played by the policy maker in controlling antibiotic resistance cannot be overemphasized. Policy makers should ensure robust nation plan, improve antibiotic-resistant infections surveillance, make information available about antibiotic resistance, regulate and ensure appropriate medicine use and disposal and also strengthen policies, programmes and implementation of infection and control measures.
Health professionals can also help prevent infections by ensuring their hands, instruments, and environments are clean. They should only prescribe and dispense antibiotics when they are needed, according to current standard treatment guidelines. They should endeavor to report antibiotic-resistant infections to surveillance teams and also talk to their patients about how to take antibiotics correctly, antibiotic resistance and the dangers of misuse. Healthcare professionals should also talk to their patients about preventing infections (for example, vaccination, hand washing, safer sex, and covering nose and mouth when sneezing). Another way to prevent and control the spread of antibiotics resistance is by investing in research and development of new antibiotics, vaccines, diagnostics and other tools by the healthcare industry.

The Agriculture sector is also a major area to be addressed in order to curtail and control the spread of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics should be given only to animals under veterinary supervision; not using antibiotics for growth promotion or to prevent diseases. Animals should be vaccinated to reduce the need for antibiotics and use alternatives to antibiotics when available. Promote and apply good practices at all steps of production and processing of foods from animal and plant sources. Improve biosecurity on farms and prevent infections through improved hygiene and animal welfare.

 

Adebisi Yusuff Adebayo is a student of University of Ibadan,Ibadan Nigeria and in charge of publicity of 7th IPSF African Pharmaceutical symposium

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Danny Mutembe is our personality of the month

Danny Mutembe is our personality of the month

By Fabrice HUMURA, Regional Media and Publications Officer.

The name Danny Mutembe is not strange to the ears of pharmacists - mostly in Rwanda, for having an important role in revamping the profession and for his instrumental and supportive interventions. But Danny is not as famous as his community pharmacy, known as “Pharmacie conseil” which gave birth to other numerous branches.

Danny Mutembe ( on the left side) (Courtesy Photo)

I arrived at his working place a few minutes after 9am and, in the moment that I entered in his office, I was struck by how welcoming he was and the keen attention he gave me despite his demanding schedule.

After we exchanged our pleasantries, it was my turn to start asking questions.

Q:  Tell us who is Danny Mutembe and his personal background.

Thank you! As you mentioned, my name is Danny Mutembe and I’m a pharmacist specialised in pharmaceutical engineering and industrial technologies.  I was born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, where I started my studies in a French-speaking school called Moamba. Later, I’ve moved to Rwanda, where I completed my secondary school prior to pursuing my university studies.

Q: It sounds like you’ve started moving at an early age.   

Oh yes, right after completing my secondary studies, I went for my Bachelor’s degree in pharmacy. It was in India, and later I further pursued my studies to receive a Masters in pharmaceutical production in Belgium. I was fortunate to be exposed to numerous technologies in different parts of our continent and even in various places of the world.

Q: In what moment did you get that passion for pharmacy and how did it come to pass?  

Actually, from a young age, I loved so much to dissect animals and I had consistently watched TV  biology programs with my entire attention. In fact, I had a dream of becoming a cardiologist or a neurologist. However, choosing pharmacy ended up being a very diplomatic approach. My older sister, who is a medical doctor, advised me not to become a doctor. She said: “You see that we already have one doctor in the family, so it would not be fair if you became a doctor too. Let’s have a diversity of health professionals in the family. It would be better if you opt for pharmacy.” The advice was embraced by my father who was a pharmacist too, so he wanted to have one of his children doing the same as him. So, the choice for pharmacy was an overnight thinking. Then I went to India.

Q: So, after your studies, you’ve immediately come to community pharmacy or you’ve had other things to do?  

After my studies in India, I went immediately to community pharmacy, where I learned the best practice in the field. This was in 2003.

Q: Did you join an existing pharmacy or did you immediately start one on your own?

I joined my family business, the Pharmacie Conseil  when I was 19 years old. The people I’ve met were experienced and so I was able to learn things from them. Pharmacie Conseil was opened in Kinshasa in 1983. It was my father who established it right after leaving Hospital of Kinshasa, where he was the chief pharmacist. From 1986, Pharmacie Conseil was transferred to Rwanda.

Q: How old were you when you started pharmaceutical practice?

I was 23 years old. I’ve met intern pharmacists of my age and I met senior pharmacists.

Q: Being responsible at such a young age wasn’t that easy, I guess?

Oh sure, it was demanding at certain points. I started with a team of senior professionals, more experienced and resistant to change. I came up with new ideas and ways of doing things but they were not quick to adopt change, whatever I was coming up with it was either questioned or doubted as I was younger in the profession. I’ll give you an example. We used to make orders of medicines from abroad using faxes and phone calls which was extremely expensive so I brought a computer. It was not new then, but they had not yet started using e-mails and PDF files. They resisted to it but later on admitted to adopt it as it made the daily work more smooth and effective. After introducing this new idea, co-workers started gaining trust in me. I remember they started asking me what was new in the world, and I was viewed as someone with good, new ideas. When you are young, it is normal to have innovative ideas. In school you feel you want to change the world and as soon as you leave school, you think everybody in the world needs your help. I felt that it was paramount for me being there.

Q: From the time you have been in the profession, what are your outstanding achievements which you always feel proud of?

First of all, I’ll start with what I saw from my father and my seniors. Frankly speaking they were successful, but they felt contented with what they had and reluctant to go to another level.  I came with the idea of expanding and growing beyond what we had. Fortunately, we grew from one community pharmacy we used to have, to other ones.

Q: You don’t solely work in community pharmacy; tell us how you came to represent your fellows at various decision-making platforms?

It started when I realized a bad image of pharmacists existed, for example, that we are here to make money. We lacked someone who would act as spokesperson to redefine our roles. I kept emphasizing that we are the people who help the community. We are not drug sellers as many notoriously think. By then I realized that the more I was involved, the more I got to be heard and started serving in public sectors including Ministry of Health, among others.

Q: What are the gaps that you still see in the pharmacy profession?

We don’t communicate enough in our sector. We tend to be silent on what is said about us, about our profession, so people don’t fully understand what pharmacists are really worth. As in other developed countries, a pharmacist is the bridge between healthcare professionals but is also used as a valuable professional because pharmacists are quickly approached by the people. Some of them are satisfied with counseling provided by pharmacists on non-communicable diseases, tuberculosis, AIDS and so on. We’re also trained to administer vaccines and to give injections in a certain manner. For instance, the vaccination for flu. A pharmacist is not a robot behind the counter saying yes or no to what has been prescribed but he is the custodian of medicines. He is the most knowledgeable person when it comes to pharmacology and that is a subject paramount in the entire medicine. So I think pharmacist have been set aside because they chose to let this happen.

Q: Are you satisfied with where you are? Or you still have other amazing things you feel you have not achieved yet?  

To tell you the truth - I'm not. I’m always reminded that the good we have and do, should not bar us from the best we could and are capable of doing. The pharmacy sector in our country is the least developed as we are not producers yet, we solely import from other countries. I don’t think that this happened because they are smarter than us, but it’s because they have taken the lead. They started small by compounding. But here very few pharmacists do compounding, we are focusing on trending which is different from other countries. Other people see pharmacy as a gateway to production. This is what should happen and it has to start from us - not from other people.

Q: What is your message to young upcoming pharmacists, especially those who want to practice community pharmacy.  

The young ones are coming at the right time and everything is already set -  technology is at its peak, people communicate easily in seconds with high speed of high volumes of shared information. What they have to do is to think big and don’t limit themselves based on what others have done. We should not look at the work accomplished by a colleague pharmacist as the maximum that can be done. We should consider how to do it better and smarter. We are not doing even a 10th of what we are supposed to be doing. Of course, our patients will hold us accountable as they expect to be supplied with high-quality, affordable medicines, dispensed with care.  We are currently doing  quite the opposite as medicines are increasingly becoming more expensive and of course those medicines are running out on a daily basis in our hospitals.  Another advice to young people is to see a fellow pharmacist as a colleague. We are not competitors even in community pharmacy, we are working for the betterment of our profession and the end result can be seen on our people. Let’s see how we can work together, support each other, form skills and pass them on to younger colleagues. Dream big, only the sky is the limit and I am quite sure that the young generation will do better than us.

Q: What is you parting message?

I am impressed with the younger generations, as they are more knowledgeable and they have that hunger to do great things. I hope that we will be there for them in a way they can reach their own capacity.

However, young people should put in mind that

The world belongs to the ones who wake up early,

To the ones who actually go and get it,

To the ones who don’t sit back and chill,

But to those who work hard,

So just make it happen!

Thanks Danny for talking to us.

You are welcome. It was great talking with you

 

         Danny Mutembe (on the right side) with Regional Media and publications officer after interview.

rmpo@afro.ipsf.org

From research to healthcare: Your Pharmacist is at your service

From research to healthcare: Your Pharmacist is at your service

By Bakani M. Ncube

Pharmacists are and have always been the custodians of medicine and our extensive training makes us the most knowledgeable health care professionals when it comes to medicines and their use but that role is evolving with each passing day as we take up a more varied role in the healthcare sector.

The theme for this years’ World Pharmacists Day, “From research to healthcare: Your pharmacist is at your service” was selected and rightfully so by the FIP and the theme “reflects the numerous contributions the pharmacy profession makes to health. From research and development of medicines, to educating future pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, and providing direct care, we do all this in the service of our patients and communities” says FIP President, Dr. Carmen Pena.

The provision of direct care does not begin in a hospital when a patient has been admitted or in a community pharmacy; it begins in a laboratory with research. Taking care of our patients, our fellow human being, starts with the acknowledging and the recognition of health issues of populations and developing medicines, policies and education to tackle them. Currently, an emphasis is being placed on pharmacists as being the “backbone of health care in many different settings”.

“We the pharmacists are often there at the beginning of the process – when the first molecule that effectively treats a disease is identified” explains Dr. Pena and this is a fact that has been proved over the years, the statement brings to mind the biography of Eli Lilly and company (1876 – 1948). He was a pharmacist whose company was the third largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in the world on its fiftieth anniversary in 1926 owing to the research they were carrying out that led to insulin. The Lilly Company’s contribution was the movement from a small scale laboratory production of insulin to large scale manufacture after the research work carried out by a team from the University of Toronto. This was a genuine partnership between science and industry and pharmacists were at the forefront of this work. In 1924, J.K Lilly proudly wrote, “The days of Creek Indian remedies were gone, replaced by an expertise and a confidence that encouraged aggressive searching for sophisticated and efficacious new drugs and new ways to manufacture them”.

Research is the systematic investigation, including testing and development, designed to develop and contribute to generalizable knowledge. An increasing portion of human research is now becoming information based with clinical trials being the most common form of health research.. Research techniques and findings have evolved continually throughout the last century and we have had our part to play in this.

Ensuring research is an integral part of the healthcare system and it encourages all professionals to question and rationalize clinical management. It creates a culture of continual learning and development and assists us to learn more about our chosen area, to have confidence in the treatments we are offering and to learn from our patients. Evidence has shown that patients who receive care in research active hospitals have better health outcomes owing to research active institutions offering wider treatment options and more opportunities to be included in clinical trials. This highlights the importance of research to overall service delivery, to us as pharmacists being at our patients service.

A lot of work has been done and is still being done as far as research goes and the onus is on us to ensure that research and development continue to occur for the benefit of our patients who rely on us for medical interventions.

 ncubebakani@gmail.com

Role of Pharmacists in transformation of research to health care

Role of Pharmacists in transformation of research to health care

By Nyasha Mazorodze

Thoughtful contemplation of human morbidity and related mortalities elicited the interest of various members of the health care team to ensure human health. Since pharmacists focus on the safe and effective use of medication, they are important pillars of health care. Pharmacists exhibit their services in a wide variety of approaches ranging from being involved in research to the provision of health care directly to the population. Therefore, they play a crucial role in the transformation of research to health care.

In order to make proper clinical decisions pertaining drug research, pharmacists play an integral role. In the case of an outbreak of a certain unknown disease, pharmacists play a major role in research during the development of the medication necessary to eradicate that disease. For example in 2014, there was an Ebola outbreak in West Africa and research was prioritised in order to develop a vaccine which has an immune response against Ebola virus surface protein. As such, pharmacists are able to use similar clinical and biomedical research in order to control and prevent spread of diseases. Pharmacists are also involved in clinical tests during the drug development to ensure safety of the patients and monitoring for any side effects and unwanted reactions.

Dispensing drugs is also one of the areas traditionally taken care of by pharmacists. Drug abuse is tremendously becoming a problem nowadays and therefore pharmacists must only give certain medications to patients who really need the medications after they supply a proper prescription from a medical doctor. Pharmacists also carry out research on prescription of drugs and this will help them understand the impacts that certain drugs have on different individuals. This will help them to maintain health safety and reduce the effects of drug abuse and drug addiction. Pharmacists will also be in a position to counsel other medical practitioners on the expected side effects of some drugs and recommending counter measures thus ensuring the health care of the community. After research has been conducted some regulations pertaining prescription of drugs are put in place to ensure the safe use of drugs by the patients.

Encouraging the proper use of medication and also promotion of health is one of the main roles of pharmacists. Perhaps, the leading cause of drug resistance is improper use of drugs. An example is not completing a prescribed course of medication. This will lead to adaptation of pathogenic bacteria to low dose medication and eventually a form of a population that is unresponsive to the medication no matter the dosage. To ensure that drugs are properly used, pharmacists must counsel the patients and encourage them to use medication appropriately as well as enlightening them on possible effects of not using the drugs properly. Research is therefore conducted by pharmacists on the reasons for some of the improper uses of medication so that they educate them basing on that information. In the event of drug resistance, research is carried out by pharmacists in order to develop new medication to replace the one available thereby ensuring the health care of the community.

Passing by a pharmacy is very common especially in urban settings. As such, there is a misconception with the majority of people that the profession of pharmacy is only concerned with the traditional way of dispensing drugs. However, “From research to health care: Your pharmacist is at your service.”

nyashamazorodze15@gmail.com

References

Dixon MG, Schafer IJ, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Ebola viral disease outbreak--West Africa, 2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2014; 63: 548–51

AHSF drug information, 1999, American Society of Health System Pharmacists, 7272 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Meinolf Kuper and Helen Tata. Bamenda, Cameroun. (1989). Guidelines for Managing a Pharmacy (unpublished)

These are areas where Pharmacists apply their skills and knowledge

These are areas where Pharmacists apply their skills and knowledge

By Azeh Goodness

In the past, one’d think of a pharmacist as an individual in the retail pharmacy who fills his or her prescription. This traditional role of pharmacists was managing the production and dispensing of drugs. Pharmacists have only been considered dispensers, and not providers and thus their practice has been limited. Their Patients often viewed them as trade merchants and not as healthcare professionals.

Today, howbeit, this role has evolved to an individual who works side-by-side with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in highly, specialized practice settings to assure appropriate medical therapy management.

Indeed, effective medicine cannot be practiced in isolation with efficient drug management-- and that is not far away from what the pharmacist seeks to engender. Their contribution to healthcare is contingent upon their in-depth knowledge, their researches and their expertise in drugs and drug-related matters. From a basic education which has risen significantly over the years-- shifting from a bachelor of science (BSc.) degree to a doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree-- to a formally designated period of supervised pre-registration practical experience, pharmacists acquire a broad understanding of the scientific principles and techniques of the pharmaceutical sciences and the ability to keep pace throughout their careers with developments in medicine and pharmacy.

Pharmacists can, therefore, apply these knowledge and skills in such areas as below

Diagnosis
This is done by performing or obtaining necessary assessments of the patient's health status.

Formulation of treatment plans​
Since disease treatment goes beyond drug intake alone to nutritional, psychological, and physiological curative efforts, the pharmacist can formulate a holistic remedial plan.

Optimal therapeutic function
With the development of specific and potent synthetic drugs, the emphasis of the pharmacist's responsibility has moved towards the provision of personalized therapies to meet unique medication needs.

Provision of follow-up services
By ensuring adequate monitoring and evaluation of patients, a comprehensive medication review is established to identify, resolve and prevent medication-related problems, including adverse drug events.

Education of patients
As custodians of drug-related information, pharmacists are able to provide informed advice on the use of prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, as well as provide population-based care in Institution settings.

Education of other health professionals
The pharmacists can advise physicians, nurses and other health workers on medication therapy decision.

Drug formulation and quality control
The understanding of the principles of drug interaction and potential side effects, as well as the techniques in quality assurance, equips pharmacists towards ensuring the formulation of standardized pharmaceutical products.

Drug regulations and control
With the proliferation of hazardous and easily-abused drugs to public consumption, the pharmacists can help ensure that strict regulations are maintained.

Medical record management
They ensure proper documentation of the care delivered and also communicates essential information to the patient's other primary care providers. This eases future treatment engagements.

Strengthening health care economics.
Pharmacists help appropriate the intricacies of the distribution chain and the tenets of efficient stock-keeping and stock turnover. They are equally familiar with the pricing structures applied to medicinal products, and that puts them as important economists.

Policy Making
Given their wide knowledge-base, pharmacists can fit properly into national and institutional​healthcare policy formulation committees.

Conclusion
The phrase "ask your pharmacist" is increasing becoming common-- and with good reason. Pharmacists are integral part of the health care community and serve as an important source of knowledge and this is evident in their flamboyant presence in healthcare delivery.

ezehgoodness@gmail.com

From research to health care: Your Pharmacist is at your service

From research to health care: Your Pharmacist is at your service

By Ekpoh Mfonobong

Pharmacy is the art, practice, or profession of preparing, preserving, compounding, and dispensing medical drugs. Howbeit, this noble profession has evolved over the years with its development and expansion resulting in a profession more diverse than was previously seen. Its areas of expertise span a great width. Thus, the robustness of the profession buttresses the need for diversification, in order to facilitate provision of better services to its populace. Different fronts of the profession include:

  • Research and Development Pharmacy
  • Industrial Pharmacy
  • Hospital Pharmacy
  • Community Pharmacy
  • Social and Administrative Pharmacy
  • Pharmacists in the Academia etc.

The choice of a specialty gives more knowledge, helps one to contribute extensively and maximize all opportunities available for self-improvement.

Furthermore, the paradigm shift of the profession from product-oriented to patient-oriented with researches and modifications of already existing policies has led to the current Pharmacy philosophy- Pharmaceutical Care (PC). PC is the responsible provision of drug therapy for the purpose of achieving definite outcomes that improve a patient's quality of life (Hepler and Strand 1990). This philosophy has greatly improved rendered services, as such, in whatever specialty, improving the patient's quality of life is the focus. So in case you are wondering, "Why strive to do better?" "Why the quest for more knowledge?" "Why enact policies to improve already set strategies?” The answer is not far-fetched- "We are at your service!”

Pharmacists play key roles in clinical research. In this era of collaborative practice terms, these researches may address important questions that facilitate improved patient care or service delivery, without specifically advancing Pharmacy practice, but still contributing to the scientific literature as a whole and may add little to the entire health care system (Sheri et al 2011). These research results are harnessed to improve the quality of life of patients. Pharmacists have been exposed to science and according to Bertolt Brecht, "The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom but to set a limit on infinite error." With the knowledge obtained, both from new medical researches and those peculiar to practicing environs, pharmacists persevere to facilitate its application in healthcare. This shows the usefulness of enacting new policies and continually assessing strides achieved in a given time to seek further ways of improving healthcare.

From research to healthcare; a lot of work is required. Rendering service to anyone requires diligence; no wonder Iroquois Maxim says; "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." With this, Pharmacists have a duty towards self and the populace despite varied responsibilities among the different areas of expertise. Saddled with the responsibility of achieving the best medication treatment outcomes for patients, ensuring cost-effectiveness and safe therapy, Pharmacists are medication experts. Services such as Clinical researches (Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmes, Global Health Issues); Pharmacogenetic therapy (individualization of therapy according to genetic makeup of a person); Modified release forms of tablets produced by Industrial Pharmacists for concordance; training future health professionals; Pharmacists involvement in creating awareness for the existence, treatment and prevention of diseases; Patient education, counseling and provision of expertise information about drug composition and posology; Pharmacists involvement in policy making and actualization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) etc show our values.

Conclusively, the holistic view of the pharmacy profession reveals the different aspects that are paramount for an all rounded practice. Notwithstanding that diversities of this practice exist, the efforts of each aspect of the profession is channeled towards meeting the health care needs of the society and to which end we can proudly say, we are your pharmacists and at your service.

mfonobongekpoh@gmail.com

References

Sheri L Koshman and Joseph Blais (2011). What is Pharmacy Research?. Can J Hosp Pharm.; 64(02): 154-155

Rwandan Pharmacy students in a public health campaign

By Fabrice HUMURA

Rwanda Pharmaceutical Students (RPSA) conducted the first ever health camp in Kayonza district under the theme: INCLUSIVE ENGAGMENT TO A HEALTHY LIFE. Kayonza district is in the eastern province of Rwanda about 91.9 km from the capital Kigali. If you have been following the associations’ Public health activities, you may realize that the campaign was not far different from other previous ones where people were screened and counseled on blood pressure, blood glucose and body mass index.

From 28th July to 1st August, pharmacy students under the umbrella of RPSA embarked on the unprecedented public health campaign dubbed “Health Camp”. This was designed primarily to approach citizens in remote areas of the country where most of them have no clue on their health status. They were first and foremost educated on different subject such as nutrition, non-communicable diseases, hygiene and water sanitation to name just a few.

The eminent non-governmental health organization, Partners In Health got interested with the initiative and came to grace the event by sponsoring the health camp not solely this one but as well to make it a continuous event in upcoming years in various places of the country.

The RPSA President Mr Alphonse Mbarushimana attests that the camp went beyond expectations as preparations as well as execution were both impeccable. He said: “Citizens in Kayonza district were happy as most of them didn’t know how to keep their body healthy. We found as well some critical scenarios of high blood pressure where we referred such cases at hospitals.”

Throughout the health camp which took place in various sites of Kayonza district, more than 650 citizens were screened and received medical counseling in accordance with their results. Like other previous campaigns run by association, the health camp was in partnership with Rwanda Diabetic Association which work closely in terms of training and aid at the field.

Pharmacy students measuring Blood pressure

One of pharmacy student Enock Twizerimana who was volunteering in this event affirmed that the health camp gave him an opportunity to explain the role of pharmacist which is wrongly understood in society. “This event redefined the role of pharmacist where most still think that pharmacist’ role is limited to dispensing medications. While helping the people we kept on explaining that a pharmacist like any other healthcare provider, primarily concerned with the health of people by providing the necessary advice to keep them healthier.”

Non-communicable diseases are on the rise around the globe and dismally mostly in developing countries people live with such diseases unknowingly. With these kinds of awareness especially in rural areas where most people are illiterate and uninterested for regular checkups, public health campaigns are of great impact.

Mr. Fabrice is a Pharmacy Student at University of Rwanda.
College of Medicine and Health sciences.
Email: Humurafab@gmail.com
Twitter: @fhumura