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[afro-nets] Training of pharmacists in Africa

Training of pharmacists in Africa

A recent report indicated that the US would be short of 120 000 pharmacists by 
2020!  That is just 14 years away - a very short time to make a significant 
dent in the shortfall!

But what is a pharmacist?  Someone with 3, 4, 6 or longer years of training?  
Can we in Africa afford to train the Pharm D pharmacists that are now the norm 
in the US?

In Africa we are already seriously short of skilled pharmacy personnel.  How 
bad is this shortage now and how much worse is it going to become?  As I see 
it, that will depend on:
1. The tasks that need to be performed, 
2. The level of competence required in order to perform those tasks,
3. The allocation of responsibility for those tasks between pharmacy 
technicians/ assistants, pharmacists and other trained health personnel,
4. The capacity of the training institutions in each country and the region. 
5. The ability to recruit students who have teh requeired entry level 
competencies and the commitment to serve the health needs of their country 
6. The ability of each country to retain trained personnel within the country/ 
health system

I am interested to find out which of these challenges pose a serious problem in 
African countries, or whether there are other serious challenges.  I am also 
particularly keen to find out about any initiatives that have taken place to 
address these challenges.

Although I am keen to seen discussion taking place about these issues, if 
anyone would like to send me their thoughts directly please feel free to do so 



Billy Futter
Associate Professor
Faculty of Pharmacy
Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
phone +27-46 603 8494
fax  +27-46 636 1205

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