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Pharmacists: An essential partner in healthcare

<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;"><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-size: 11pt; font-family: helvetica;">The recently celebrated World Pharmacist’s Day brought together pharmacists from different hospitals and other healthcare institutions to a forum organised by Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) to mark the event for the first time in Kenya with the theme “Pharmacists: Your partner in health”.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-size: 11pt; font-family: helvetica;">The Chief Guest Dr Paul Mwaniki, who is also the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) gave the keynote address. ​
</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-size: 11pt; font-family: helvetica;">In his remarks, Dr Paul Mwaniki shared the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) message for 2015 World Pharmacy Day that strongly encouraged all pharmacists and their associations across the globe to participate in World Pharmacists Day which is celebrated every year on September 25th.  The day is a good opportunity to highlight the impact and added value of the pharmacy profession and its role in improving the health of patients and helping doctors in prescribing medicine.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-size: 11pt; font-family: helvetica;">“Every day millions of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists around the world act as partners to patients, healthcare professionals, policy makers, scientists and the whole medicine supply chain and with the shared vision of improving health.”
</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-size: 11pt; font-family: helvetica;">“Across the globe our profession is clearly demonstrating all the requirements of great partnerships of shared goals, commitment, vital skills and rapport, as well as the ability to have difficult talks with authorities and to overcome obstacles which pharmacist face in the course of their work,” said Dr Mwaniki.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-size: 11pt; font-family: helvetica;">While making a presentation on safe and effective Medication Management and Use (MMU), Dr Jaimini Gohil, Pharmacy Practice Manager at Aga Khan University Hospital said that pharmacists play an important role in the quality of medicines supplied to patients, provide drugs information including how to take them, what reactions may occur and answering patients questions. It is also the responsibility of pharmacists to ensure that the supply of medicines in hospitals is within the law.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-size: 11pt; font-family: helvetica;">“Pharmacy premises and systems should be in order. Pharmacists should fulfill their key roles by giving advice to healthcare professionals on safety and effective medicine use including safe and secure supply of medicines from authorised pharmaceutical companies.” She said.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-size: 11pt; font-family: helvetica;">Mr Shawn Bolouki, Chief Executive Officer, Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), commended pharmacists for their contribution in ensuring quality healthcare for patients. “The role played by pharmacists in the well-being of patients is of great importance in the entire healthcare system. Pharmacists professional capabilities and other healthcare professionals benefit patients at all levels of the healing process.” Said Shawn.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-size: 11pt; font-family: helvetica;">Also present at the event was Mr Salim Hasham,Vice President, Aga Khan University Health Services.  Mr Salim shared Aga Khan University’s vision and future healthcare plans in ensuring access to quality healthcare within the region and beyond. He recognised the efforts of pharmacists and the importance of the occasion noting that the key roles played by each healthcare partner including physicians, nurses and pharmacists determined the success of sector as a whole.
</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-size: 11pt; font-family: helvetica;">The unavailability of key medications including chemotherapeutic drugs and vaccines is a major concern that Dr Syed Raza, Administrator, Pharmacy, AKUH raised and promised that the hospital would support PSK, other regulators and agencies in order to ensure availability and safe medication management to the community.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-size: 11pt; font-family: helvetica;">The event which is celebrated every 25th of September, started in 2010 was the brainchild of the FIP Council. At the FIP congress in Istanbul, FIP encouraged pharmacists to organize activities that promote and advocate their profession and role in improving healthcare globally.​

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