Campus Through pass: USIU prepares a new generation of pharmaceutical professionals for Africa - The Sauce
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Campus

Campus Through pass: USIU prepares a new generation of pharmaceutical professionals for Africa

6117-08058939 © Masterfile Royalty-Free Model Release: Yes Property Release: Yes Scientist extracting liquid from beaker with pipette laboratory

United States International University is set to graduate its first cohort of pharmacists . The relatively new Pharmaceutical degree form USIU is at the forefront of changing medicine as seen in the continent of Africa which is often medically challenged.

1. What are the requirements for anyone wishing to take a degree program in Pharmacy?
The program admits students with a minimum aggregate grade of KCSE B- and a minimum of a C+ in the following subject clusters (Math/Physics, English/Kiswahili, Chemistry and Biology) will be required. The program admits students during the Summer (May) intake.

2. How long does the course work take to complete?

The course takes five years to complete. The first cohort is currently in its fourth year and we are expecting to graduate the first class in 2020.

3. What are the examining bodies that certify graduates?
The program is accredited both here in Kenya by the Commission for University Education (CUE) and the United States of America by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The program is also certified by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Kenya. Students are required to take an exam with the board in order to be registered. No person can practice pharmacy in Kenya without this registration.

4. What resources does the university offer students?
USIU – Africa models holistic professional pharmacists currently desired who measure up across the entire spectra of the Pharmacy profession from Pharmacy education, Clinical Pharmacy, Industrial Pharmacy, and Pharmaco-economics.

There are expansive state of the art laboratories for different specialties, well equipped for analytical work in areas of Chemistry – Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy, Flame photometry, Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy, Gas Chromatography, Elemental Analyzers, Potentiostat and Thermo-Gravimetry Analyser; Pharmaceutical Analysis – Polarimeter, digital tablet hardness tester, Disintegration/dissolution apparatus, HPLC: Physiology / Pathology/Anatomy – Kymographs, Ophthalmoscope, Power lab teaching system, electrocardiograms and the Langedorf among others.

Additional teaching infrastructure available to students includes a pharmacy skills laboratory for students’ skills development in handling patients and pharmacy practice alongside a Research & Development Unit that mimics the pharmaceutical manufacturing set up.

The facilities provided are well equipped with the latest equipment to assist students fully engage with the program. They have an opportunity to experience the theoretical aspects of the program as well as they get hands-on experience. It is also the first program that offers a pharmacy skill laboratory where students go through a hospital program and pharmacy practice where they are taught how to handle patients, guided as they administer medication and have an opportunity to interrogate their patients.

The students also have an opportunity to interact with a software known as ‘my dispense’ in order to know how to administer medicine and interact within a pharmacy environment.

5. What are some of the course units taken as part of the program and how relevant are they to the industry?
The USIU – Africa curricular of an array of units in the following areas that are key in holistic professional pharmacy practice. They include pre-clinical courses like anatomy, physiology, pathology, biochemistry, & microbiology. Students also take various other core courses in pharmacology, pharmaceutics and industrial pharmacy, clinical pharmacy, pharmacognosy, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmaceutical analysis, pharmaceutical marketing management, pharmacy law, and ethics.

This program is unique because the University has entered into a partnership with hospitals where students get hands-on experience as they carry out their work and participate in hospital rounds. The students are accompanied by a staff member who evaluates their performance as they interact with the patients.

The program is fashioned to host small classes to better improve the interaction between faculty and students. The class can hold less than 45 students and a maximum of 90 students in two sections. This ensures that the facilities and equipment are equally distributed among the students and the student to faculty ratio is low and thus allows effective interactions

6. How is this program going to change healthcare in Africa? How does it compare to other degree programs offered locally and internationally?
The program focuses on the development, application and effective management of pharmaceutical technology as a fundamental tool of modern healthcare. This is why USIU-Africa has invested heavily in the best-equipped laboratories and library of any pharmacy program in the region.

Africa’s shortage of health professionals is most pronounced in rural and underserved communities, where the burden of disease is greatest. Pharmacy training, therefore, needs to prepare students to address local health priorities in the communities. The USIU – Africa School of Pharmacy & Health Sciences’ curricula is tailored towards clinical competencies that focus mainly on the provision of patient-based pharmaceutical care. This is achieved by student exposure to the pharmacy skills laboratory to translate to practice what is learned in all courses.

7. Who would be a great candidate for the course?
A passionate and dedicated student who enjoys what they do. It entails being principled and ready to make sacrifices along the way, sharing the knowledge in order to grow in the industry.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is what will give the African people the chance to contribute towards economic growth and lead Africa to conduct groundbreaking research that will eradicate disease and hunger in Africa. STEM does not distinguish the brain of a girl from that of a boy. Girls can do just as well as boys and STEM must be championed by successful women in STEM cheering on the girls, mentoring them and being role models. In addition, the government has assisted by growing this field by entering into partnerships to engage in research in STEM and committing up to 2 percent of its National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to funding research and innovations which would translate to KSH 120 Billion annually. During the fiscal year 2014/2015, GoK contributed 0.9% (KSH. 54 Billion) to fund research and innovations.

Professor. Njeri Wamae is the Dean, School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at USIU-Africa.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Some More Sauce...


Kenyans on Twitter woke up to an explicit video that has since gone viral. In the video, a woman who is known on social...

Da Squeeze

Kenyan beauty Tanasha Donna Oketch recently opened up about her life. The 24 year old former radio presenter, musician and mother of one is...


Ugandan TV journalist Simon Kaggwa Njala’s face has got to be one of the memed faces of 2019.   But how did this Ugandan...

Da Squeeze

Who remembers the time when sex was simple. Well, nowadays there are a lot of weird fetishes that we can’t even keep track of...


The Free Mason society is known to be secretive and very private, but not anymore it may seem. The Freemason society based in Nairobi...

Da Squeeze

Kenya has a robust matatu culture and some people around the world love it. Award winning American singer and dancer Chris Brown yesterday (23.03.20)...

Da Squeeze

Is there a woman making your heart skip a beat? She might be a secret woman of your life.  Most women love, but they...


Ex Zimbabwean leader  Robert Mugabe was given a heroic state funeral on Saturday (14.09.19) and above all, he will be remembered for his great...