, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 21 – The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) has outlined plans to mentor and provide career guidance support to KCPE achievers wishing to pursue a career in pharmacy.
While welcoming top KCPE candidate Olive Mwea Wachira’s wish to pursue a career in the field, PSK said they have already drawn up plans to orient candidates wishing to join the profession.
Speaking at Riara Primary School when he led a team of practicing pharmacists to congratulate Olive on her achievement as one of the top two candidates who scored 453 out of a possible 500 marks, PSK Chairperson Dr Louis Machogu said they will provide mentorship support to both KCPE and KCSE candidates.
The growing attraction to pharmacy by top achievers in KCPE and KCSE, Dr Machogu said, will ultimately provide a big boost to the national Universal Health Coverage goals under the Big Four agenda.
Streamlining the practice of pharmacy to ensure that Kenyans access the highest standard of healthcare remains a key priority by the PSK.
“This can only be achieved by ensuring that measures are in place to allow only qualified professionals are responsible for medicine use in line with global practices.”
The society, he said, will be working closely with the Kenya Pharmacy Student Association (KEPhSA) to provide functional linkages between practicing pharmacists, university students taking pharmacy and those in secondary schools with an interest in pharmacy.
“The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya is encouraged at the growing career attraction by academic achievers wishing to join this field. We have therefore streamlined our mentorship function, to provide the necessary support including practice exposure for the students to get first-hand experience at various levels,” Dr Machogu said.
Globally, the role of pharmacists has evolved along with health care needs. In addition to dispensing medications and ensuring patient safety, today’s pharmacists are taking a larger role as medical counselors, educators and advocates.
In Kenya, the practice of pharmacy in the country is coordinated at two tiers i.e. by professionals trained accordingly i.e. Pharmacists holding a minimum of a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree and Pharmaceutical Technicians holding a minimum of a diploma in Pharmaceutical Technology.
Students undertaking Bachelor of Pharmacy training take five years in-school training followed by a one year in practice training during internship which ensures that they are well equipped to deliver as per their mandate of practice.