President Jakaya Kikwete is expected to inaugurate the National Pharmacy Week scheduled for June 11 to 15, this year.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Tanzania (PST) told journalists yesterday in Dar es Salaam that the theme of the pharmacy week is “Informing the Community on Rational Use and Storage of Medicines in Households.”
PST president Elizabeth Shekalaghe said her organisation would be marking the week while the country has only 900 pharmacists whom he said were very few compared to the actual demand.
She said that there is a need to train more experts in the profession in an effort to curb the shortage countrywide.
“The country’s population is over 44 million…we need more pharmacists trained to improve the services…there is a huge demand in the experts,” she underlined.
Giving more details, Shekalaghe said that it is expected that every doctor is assisted by one pharmacist, but at the moment, that isn’t the case.
“Many of these available pharmacists are based in urban areas, leaving a large number of populations in the rural areas in need of their services,” she said.
The PST chief said, “The effects of globalisation and the power of technology compound on the behavior of demand.”
Based on self-medication behavior, among others, Shekalaghe said that the society felt a need to intervene through raising awareness on rational use and storage of medicines to save lives.
She said that the focus would be on households and communities at large, as they have planed to conduct several activities that would be implemented during the inauguration of the week.
According to her, some of the activities that will take place in the event include face-to-face interaction between pharmacists and clients, the use of information, education and communication materials as well as the media.
Shekalaghe said PST experts would use the platform to deliver to the public knowledge on rational use and proper storage of medicines.
She noted that PST has aimed to use various supporting materials to propagate the theme, will include posters, stickers, banners, brochures and articles in newspapers.