Embedding relevance in pharmacy training: a case study from South Africa
Keywords:Health Services, Pharmacy Practice, Pharmacy Training, Public Health, Relevance, Service-Learning
Background: South Africa’s shortage of health professionals is most pronounced in rural and underserved communities, where the burden of disease is greatest. One key question is: how pharmacy training contributes to preparing students to address local health priorities in these communities?
Aim: Our aim was to implement a first year service-learning activity that addressed a local health service need.
Method: Case study methodology was used to describe and analyse implementation of the service activity.
Results: Implementation entailed students pre-packing sugar and salt into a sachet for use by clinics for the treatment of diarrhoea-induced dehydration. This activity proved to be beneficial for student learning and the health services. Despite the two-pronged significance, key questions emerged about how this activity aligned with current pharmacy practice.
Conclusion: Our preliminary attempt to embed relevance in pharmacy training uncovered apparent inconsistencies in expectations for the role of the pharmacist between training institutions, accreditation bodies and the public health system.
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