Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All
Contribution to the Annual Report 2012 of the MMI Network

Essentials of Pharmacy Practice Course

Essentials of Pharmacy Practice Course

“She is now very competent and assists patients in the dispensary. She is able to carry out her responsibilities with confidence.” This is a feedback of the supervisor at a community hospital in Dedza district Malawi three months after her staff returned from the Essentials of Pharmacy Practice course.

In 2012 the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (EPN) ran five courses on the Essentials of Pharmacy Practice (EPP) in five countries training more than 130 pharmacy staff. Three twelve week courses were conducted in Uganda, majority of the students from South Sudan, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Malawi. Two shorter two weeks courses were organised in Central African Republic and Sierra Leone.

The target group is staff working in a hospital pharmacy or comparable institution of a health facility. They never have been exposed to any formal pharmaceutical training. The pharmaceutical schools offer training for people who have finished school. The capacity of the school often is low to meet the need of qualified staff in a short time.

The EPP course consists out of six modules covering the most important elements to improve the pharmaceutical services within the health institutions and towards the patients receiving the medicines.

From our own survey in eight countries investigating 332 facilities (70% hospitals, 28% health facilities, and 2% dispensaries) with 1009 respondents EPN knows that the majority of pharmacy staff lacks any formal pharmaceutical training. Thus, EPN developed the EPP course, consisting out of six modules which be conducted separately or in one course. Each module takes two weeks to be taught.

In 2012 the evaluation performed before and after the courses demonstrated the direct impact on the performance of the staff: improving stock management of medicines, adopting the FEFO-system (first-expiry, first-out), keeping the right medicines in the fridge, calculating average month consumption, explaining the use of medicines to the patient.

Church facilities need to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements by employing staff with appropriate training. The EPP courses do not aim to replace any formal pharmaceutical training but to reduce the gap of missing education.

Beside EPN there is no other organisation offering a course covering all basic aspects of pharmaceutical services for untrained personnel which was allocated to pharmacies.

EPN would like to express appreciation to our members, experts from various countries, and The Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems Programme, USAID, and Bread-for-the-World who enabled our network to create and conduct these courses.

EPN (Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network) is an independent, non profit Christian organisation that works to support churches and church health systems (faith base organisations) in over 30 countries. Its only office is in Kenya. EPN strives for supporting quality pharmaceutical services by providing knowledge and trainings in different kinds of pharmaceutical fields.


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