The World Pharmacists Day is marked on the 25th September of every year. This is a day that aims to raise awareness, promote and advocate for the role of pharmacists in healthcare. Before diving into the gist of this article, let us get a little background and history on how this day came to be. 25th September was set aside by the International Pharmaceutical Federation FIP during a council meeting in Istanbul, back in 2009. The FIP is a non-governmental global body that represents pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists. FIP has its headquarters in Netherlands. Why the 25th of September and not any other day on the calendar, you might wonder. Well, FIP was founded in 25th September,1912 and it is rather obvious yet poetic that pharmacists worldwide are celebrated on this particular day.
The theme for World Pharmacists Day 2021 was ‘Pharmacy; Always trusted for your health’. Trust is important in our day-to-day interactions with people and is even more important in healthcare. Evidence shows improved compliance to treatment regimen, improved clinical outcomes and improved quality of life when patients trust their caregivers. Pharmacists being the most accessible health profession has gained trust from the public due to their positive relations, competency and consistency in their delivery. This trust in pharmacists helps disperse the cloud of misinformation and misconceptions surrounding COVID-19 and vaccine hesitancy. While the antivaxxers use baseless claims that retard the fight against the virus, pharmacists provide clinical data to back their pharmaceutical products. This is why you can always trust the pharmacists with your health
Following the year that was and the strides made, there was a lot worth celebrating on World Pharmacists Day 2021. Here in the country, pharmacy students joined in commemorating this day set aside to celebrate and raise awareness of the profession they soon will be a part of. The Kenya Pharmacy Students Association KePhSA, through the help of KAM pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya PSK and Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry KAPI organized inter university competition. The first edition of this interuniversity competition was held on September,2019. The USIU-Africa were gracious hosts of the event. Mount Kenya University Pharmacy Students Association MkuPSA swopped the biggest trophy of the day as they emerged the overall winners of the first ever World pharmacists Day interuniversity competitions. Due to the pandemic, it was not possible to hold the competition in 2020.
The second edition of the event was held, on 25th September,2021 in Mount Kenya University with 6 universities represented.
In attendance were;
- University of Nairobi Pharmacy Students association
- JKUAT Pharmacy Students Association
- Kabarak Pharmacy Students Association
- Kenyatta University Pharmacy Students Association
- Kenya Methodist University Pharmacy Students Association
- Mount Kenya Pharmacy Students Association
The theme of the event was ‘Through Tough Times Together’ or simply the 4Ts, paying homage to the pandemic. Activities of the day were;
- Clinical competition
- Compounding competition
- Pharmacy quiz
- Patient counselling competition
- Spirit award competition
Before the final showdown, KePhSA had organized webinars were students got draw knowledge and interact with accomplished Pharmacists in different areas of study. This went a long way to open the students’ eyes to the many fields of pharmacy they can venture into after their Bpharm degree.
The first webinar, on 21st September, was on Policy and governance in pharmacy with Dr Bob Nyaribari Agwata as the speaker. Dr Agwata is a senior programmer, a specialist in research, clinical pharmaceutical consultant in pediatrics, HIV and oncology medicine. His vast knowledge and passion were evident and the allocated 2 hours were just not enough.
The evening of 22nd September was graced by the first female nuclear pharmacist in the country-the delightful Dr Elizabeth Itotia. She demystified a lot of misinformation surrounding the dreaded field and by the end of the zoom meeting, radiopharmacy did not seem as scary a field.
The webinar trio series were concluded on 23rd September by a powerful and highly informative session on supply chain logistics in pharmaceutical industry. Guest speakers Dr James Irungu, Dr Heather Njuguna and Dr Johnson Anyona. These webinars were moderated by the KePhSA executive members and it is commendable how smooth and organized they were.
Attendance and involvement in these webinars together with social media engagement were part of the spirit award competition. each chapter was also required to present a song, poem, skit or spoken word in accordance to the theme.
On the D-day, the 25th September, pharmacy students from the 6 chapters went head on head in the clinical competition, compounding competition, strategy management, patient counselling and pharma quiz. They were also assessed on how well they could measure blood pressure manually using a sphygmomanometer and a stethoscope. We all know ‘work with no play makes Jack a dull boy’. A dance off as the judges tallied the results was warrantied. The talented battled it out on stage as those with two left feet cheered them on.
The results were in!
There were seven trophies up for grabs and they were awarded as follows;
- Winners of clinical competition- Mount Kenya University
2. Winners of compounding competition– Kabarak University
3. Winners of Pharmacy Quiz– The University of Nairobi
4. Winners of strategy Management– Kenya Methodist University
5. Winners of Patient Counselling and Pharma challenge games– The university of Nairobi
6. Winners of the spirit award– Kenya Methodist University
Kabarak University – Carried the day as they were the overall champions. A very well-deserved win.
The reigning champions Mount Kenya University came in a close second as the University of Nairobi came in third. Celebratory dances and claps marked the end of a fruitful day.
Pharmacy inter university competitions is a brainchild of one Dr Aneez of KAM pharmacy
and through him and sponsors like PSK, Red cross and KAPI, pharmacy students are living the reality. This event brings together pharmacy students from all over the country and accomplished pharmacists facilitating exchange of ideas and networking. through this and the massive publicization of the event on social media platforms, KePhSA is doing its part in raising awareness of the role of a pharmacist in healthcare and these students are in the right side of history.
World Pharmacists Day 2022, see you then.
Comment down below on your experience during the WPD and also, check out our previous Blog Post if you haven’t already – How Technology is Shaping the Future of Pharmacy