By Karabo Baloyi, MA in Journalism and Media Studies student
Earlier this month, the Faculty of Pharmacy held their annual Research Methodologies Presentation Day, where final-year students presented their research findings on various projects.
The course was designed to broaden the students’ scope in research and innovation. Before the presentations, students attended classes, workshops and seminars which taught them the basics of independent research.
Faculty Dean, Professor Sandile Khamanga, began the event by congratulating the staff and students for their dedication to excellence in their work and their perseverance throughout the year. “Our strength as a Faculty lies heavily in the kind of research that we’ve done,” he said.
Prof Khamanga further highlighted the importance of integrity as an aspect of a professional pharmacist. “The work you’ve done since the beginning of the year speaks to research that calls for a high level of independence. We trust that the work presented today is work that will help you become the best professional you can possibly be.”
The 138 final-year students were split into 27 groups to present their findings on research completed in areas such as public health, antimicrobial resistance and screening studies.
The research presented covered various topics, for example, one group assessed the knowledge of the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) amongst Rhodes University’s male students. The quantitative study concluded that there was a high level of awareness of ECP, but significant knowledge gaps regarding the practice of emergency contraceptives among the male students.
Another example was a quantitative study on first-year students’ perceptions of the role of community pharmacists. The findings from the study were to be used as a basis for providing suggestions for future public education strategies involving the role of community pharmacists.
Senior Lecturer and Research Methodologies Course Co-ordinator, Dr Nosiphiwe Ngqwala, highlighted the importance of innovation for pharmacy students and professionals. “The research will continually develop new ideas that may be developed into new products, materials, and process improvements. These plans will form a vital role in the sustainability of South African development.”