Today, we recognize pharmacists who spend most of the day on their feet to provide services to communities across the globe. Pharmacists play an important role of conducting research, discovering and testing new medication.
Gauteng department of health spokesperson Kwara Kekana said these heroes need to be celebrated and recognised. “This day focuses on the role pharmacists play in improving health on a global scale,” she said.
The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) established World Pharmacists Day in 2009 in Istanbul, Turkey. They chose September 25 because the FIP was founded on this day in 1912.
Kekana said pharmacists are not just people behind the counter who file and process prescriptions.“Pharmacists work long hours, usually standing the entire time dispensing pills and providing advice on medications and administering immunisations,” said Kekana.
Pharmacy Manager at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, Abiola Animashahun said the pharmaceutical department in the hospital worked tirelessly during the global outbreak of Covid-19. “We had to order more medical supplies and create more storage space for prescriptions and all emergency medicine,” she said.
Animashahun said after the president announced the national lockdown, all health workers and pharmacists were swamped by a rush of patients and ordinary public members seeking medications to prevent Covid-19.
Given her 18 years of experience at the hospital, she notes that pharmacists have a better understanding of medicine and the side effects. “I know which dose is good for a patient and I know when the doctor might have given too little or too much to a patient,” she added.