There is need to ensure quality service delivery by pharmacists in order not only to improve lives of patients but also guarantee a safe and sound health care system in the country.
The call was made by Dr Raymond Muganga, the Chairman of National Pharmacy Council during celebrations to mark World Pharmacy Day in Kigali on Friday.
The day was celebrated under the theme, “From research to health care: Your Pharmacist is at your service.”
World Pharmacy Day is usually celebrated on September 25, but the celebrations were held prior to coincide with a pharmacists workshop convened in Kigali.
Dr Muganga emphasised the welfare of patients as the number one priority that all practicing pharmacists should mind about.
Flandrien Habyarimana, the President of Rwanda Community Pharmacists Union said that it is through such celebrations that a platform to address prevailing challenges is created.
He pointed out factors such as embracing the use of technology as a means of improving know-how.
“We need to see how we can do more, increase our know-how. Let us embrace our profession as pharmacists and see it upon ourselves that it is taken on a new level,” he said.
Habyarimana highlighted the need to work together as health professionals because this is a sure way of ensuring numerous accomplishments.
On the future of pharmacy, he talked of the need to increase the number of pharmacists to at least having a 1: 1000 ratio where one pharmacist can attend to at least 1000 patients. The present ratio is 1: 1,000,000.
He however applauded the steps taken so far, saying at least the increasing number of students graduating is a positive indicator.
“In the recent past, pharmacists were very few, even in universities students taking up the course were very few. But this is changing, numbers are increasing right now at least those graduating from university.”
Denise Niyoturamya, the secretary general of Rwanda Community Pharmacists Union urged pharmacists to always put ethical values first in all their endeavors.
“Pharmacists should be ethical and value their profession by not letting outside factors like money interfere with their duties. There are cases of some pharmacists who sell medicine which is expensive and lie to patients that it’s the only one available yet there is that which works the same and cheaper. This is not ethical,” she said.
Marie Ange Uwase a pharmacist said that more research needs to be done in terms of publications and also keeping a strong tie amongst themselves because this way they will get far in terms of progress.
She also emphasised the role of women, encouraging them to have belief that they have the ability to make it in this profession.
“This way we will be able to achieve whatever we aim for in collaboration with our brothers or fellow pharmacists. There is also the factor of mentorship; this can also have a lasting impact,” Uwase added.