With much smaller numbers relative to their counterparts in developed countries, pharmacists in developing countries tend to keep to the confines of dispensing roles mainly in community pharmacies. We challenge these pharmacists to move away from the dispensing window and to demonstrate the value of the years invested in pharmacy schools to improve the well-being of communities. In post-conflict countries like Liberia, for example, the profession is barely visible, yet it is in these countries where medicines regulatory systems are weak and practice is substandard. For example, prescription medicines are freely sold on the streets of Monrovia, while an analysis of antimalarial medicines sampled from the market of several African countries found a considerable proportion contained no active ingredient.
In Tanzania, most of the population purchase pharmaceutical products from a network of small drugs shops. Most of these have recently been upgraded to a new class of drug shops termed accredited drug dispensing outlets (ADDOs). The programme of accreditation and quality improvement to create ADDOs has been shown to improve access to medicines, the quality of medicines, and the quality of pharmaceutical services provided to the community. Yet, pharmacists and the pharmaceutical fraternity have been slow to capitalise on this success and harness the programme as pharmacist-owned and, as such, bring it under the banner of the profession. It is identification of such opportunities that will ensure the viability of the pharmacy profession in developing countries and thus define the pathways to long-term sustainability.
Other reasons why pharmacy must be proactive in assuming service- and systems-based roles include the fact that physicians in developing countries, particularly in Africa, are often overloaded with clinical duties, which presents huge challenges for physicians to continue to assume major roles in management and systems strengthening. By demonstrating that they can competently assume these roles and complement physicians in providing quality healthcare services, pharmacists have ready-made opportunities to enhance their role in the community.
Pharmacy is a dynamic profession. However, in developing countries, the profession has remained stagnant in a quagmire of yester-glory, risking the very essence of its existence. To arrest the waning image of the profession in developing countries, particularly in Africa, there is need to identify service opportunities that would perpetuate the continued relevance of the profession to health systems and communities.
“To be a leader in training, developing and supporting young people to become highly qualified medical professionals to serve for the society health needs”
“To provide exceptional health education and provide support for health related studies and researches with state of the art facilities to cast for the society health and medical needs “
Copyright © 2016 St Maximiliancolbe College. Designed by SGenerationLabs