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First batch of pharmacists graduate

From left to right Ms Nicola Rudall (Clinical Pharmacy lecturer), pharmacy students: Lahya Hafeni, Anastancia Aluvilu, Fundisile Msibi, Tumo Pelekekae and Gerald Pachawo.

The University Of Namibia graduated their first ever pharmaceutical students under the school of medicine last week. The School of Pharmacy groomed and trained the 14 graduate students that were capped at the graduation ceremony.

There are currently 55 pharmacists employed by the government and out of that number only 10 are Namibians. Therefore the pharmacy sector is currently in a critical state and is brewing home made pharmacists.
“The training of local pharmacists will mean that the government will not have to spend money in employing pharmacist from outside. Gone are the days when students had to study outside Namibian borders,” said Deputy Associate Dean of the Faculty of Health, Dr Vetja Haakuria.
“In the past students that wanted to study pharmacy had to study in South Africa and Zimbabwe. And  now the Namibian School of Pharmacy have students from all walks of life coming to study here. This includes students Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola and Kenya,” she added.
Haakuria admitted that there is still a large shortage of pharmacist but there are programmes currently in place to bridge the gap. Not only does the school offer training but they train pharmaceutical  technicians as well which is also a new programme under the school. The technicians are trained to help the pharmacist were they can.
“Pharmacists deal with pharmacology which entails researching the interaction of a drug toward the human body. And pharmacists also research on finding cures for a specific diseases, they are the ones that work out the precise dose. Pharmacists play a huge role in the medical sector as they are the key players that get to prescribe the medicine to hospitals, clinics and doctors whether in the private or public sector,” said Haakuria. The school of pharmacists have been running an awareness campaign throughout the regions to encourage learners to take on pharmaceutical studies.
The campaign is a platform for the faculty to raise the importance of why Namibia needs pharmacists and for them to show off the current crop of graduates.

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