Celebrating World Pharmacists Day

Head & Dean of Pharmacy, Professor Sandile Khamanga.
Head & Dean of Pharmacy, Professor Sandile Khamanga.

“Molecules become medicines when pharmaceutical expertise is added” – FIP (International Pharmaceutical Federation).

September 25th is celebrated globally, as World Pharmacists Day.  This day is an acknowledgement, celebration and recognition of the role and dedication of all pharmacists in the healthcare sector.  We encourage Pharmacists including academic, practicing Pharmacists and students to celebrate this day by sending inspiring World Pharmacists Day social media posts using the hashtag #worldpharmacistsday, updating WhatsApp status to reflect World Pharmacists Day, sharing Pharmacist quotes, and highlighting innovations and inventions made by Pharmacists throughout history.  The sharing of images which highlight the role of the Pharmacist are worthy to share.  Pharmacists are the reason why people get the best outcome when using their medicines as their experience, knowledge, and expertise ensure that the (medical) world is a better and safer place for all.

We want to join hands together to share how Pharmacists are transforming healthcare, in hospitals, community pharmacies, manufacturing plants and academia, so that no one is left behind during these COVID-19 times.  We salute and applaud all Pharmacists who have tirelessly served the community on the front-lines during the pandemic by ensuring that lifesaving medicines, personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitizer and information is available.

We also need to celebrate the existence of the Pharmacy programme at Rhodes University which was started 64 years ago and many old and new students will appreciate the growth of the Faculty with the number of students approaching 800.  Arguably the academic status and the achievements of the Faculty of Pharmacy over this time is unquestionable.  

It is worth sharing that Pharmacists were previously known as Chemists and/or Druggists and during this celebration today, it would be remiss not to mention that the role of the Pharmacist has shifted significantly from being medicine-centred to being patient-centred, but it is still founded in the Pharmaceutical Sciences so that creative scientists, who work in usual and also unusual places are produced.  The realm of the Pharmacist includes formulating medicines in laboratories and reaches that of the Community Pharmacist who dispenses your medicines in a Pharmacy.  We are proud of the role we have played in the profession in South Africa and use today as an opportunity to connect with our alumni, prospective students and our communities.  We are assured that you are very safe having a Pharmacist in your corner when you require your health to be restored.  

As a Faculty of Pharmacy, we are committed to producing competent and compassionate Pharmacists who are equipped and motivated to transform global health.  In this time of a pandemic we salute all Pharmacists, especially since this year’s theme is, “Transforming global health”.

On behalf of the Faculty of Pharmacy, we thank all Pharmacists and Pharmacy students locally, nationally and globally on this World Pharmacist Day.  Perhaps you could, in this time of COVID-19, give a pharmacist you know, a virtual hug and whisper thanks for their efforts in assisting you with your health needs.