The Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda (PSU) and the Makerere University Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (MUPSA) organized the celebrations to mark the International Pharmaceutical Day. It was held at the Constitutional Square with the theme: “From Research to Development – Your Pharmacist at Your Service.”
The celebrations were sponsored by several organizations which included; Uganda Home Marketing Group (UHMG), Nakasero Blood Bank, Press Mobile Dental Services, Wide Spectrum, C and A Pharmacy, Norvik Hospital and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).
The services which were offered at no cost included: information on “rational” drug abuse; Hepatitis B screening; cardiovascular assessment; diabetes assessment; dental check-up; HIV/AIDS testing and counseling; nutrition and education; drug information; and, blood donation.
The day before the event was marked by a Sickle Cell Run held by the Sickle Cell Association (SCA) to raise funds for the construction of a sickle cell unit in Gayaza.
The MUPSA Organizing Secretary, Alex Buyinza, expressed a number of challenges their association is facing. Among them are that the Ministry of Health (MoH) has failed to pass the Pharmacy Law to govern the activities of the profession. He said that the lack of this has created more gap for illegal pharmacists to exist operated by unqualified personnel.
He also explained that the Government’s little funding for research has greatly affected the pharmaceutical organization. Buyinza told The Sunrise that “a student cannot graduate before he or she has done enough research.”
He also revealed that the Kyambogo Research Institute (KRI) lacks enough funds to carry out research and he called upon the Government and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to invest in research and development.
He added that Makerere University also lacks enough pharmaceutical lecturers.
The world pharmacists’ day celebrations started way back in 2009.