Pharmacy Month 2022

Women & Youth Health

The #PharmacyMonth hashtag garnered over 1,6 million social media impressions during September 2022; the profession, including provincial departments of health, partook in at least 39 outreach events, and there were at least 28 traditional media activities undertaken by both the profession and the Office of Council as part of the 2022 Pharmacy Month programme.

The pharmacy is a safe and trusted place for advice and assistance

During Pharmacy Month 2022, we saw the profession embody the theme for the year and visit schools and other healthcare facilities to educate children, women and other healthcare professionals about health issues pertinent to women and youth.

The month of September is Pharmacy Month and the theme this year was Women & Youth Health – The pharmacy is a safe and trusted place for advice and assistance. This month highlights the importance of the pharmacy profession and the impact that pharmacists have in their communities. This theme placed emphasis on the issues facing women and children considering the increased gender-based violence (GBV) reports throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This theme aimed to increase awareness about the health issues that women and the youth face such as cervical cancer, muscular dystrophy and childhood cancer.

Outreach activities

Council appreciates the outreach activities undertaken by the profession during the 2022 Pharmacy Month awareness programme, some of which are mentioned below.

1. PSSA, SAAHIP, City of Tshwane and TUTAPS

The Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa (PSSA) Young Pharmacists Group alongside the PSSA Pretoria, South African Association of Hospital and Institutional Pharmacists (SAAHIP) and the Tshwane University of Technology Association for Pharmacy Students (TUTAPS) visited HL Setlalentoa Secondary School to celebrate Pharmacy Month by educating the students about gender-based violence, drug abuse and the pharmacy profession.

The Tshwane University of Technology Association for Pharmacy Students alongside the City of Tshwane held a health screening day at the TUT Arcadia Campus.

The PSSA alongside SAAHIP Northern Gauteng, SMU, SAHPRA, SMUAPS and TUTAPS ran a pad drive for young girls at the Peas in a Pot Home in Pretoria Central. The aim of the visit was also to educate the young girls about hygiene and health which aligns with the pharmacy month theme, Women and Youth Health.

2. Far East Rand Hospital

Far East Rand Hospital Pharmacy staff visited Kingsway Primary, Kingsway Secondary as well as Albertina Sisulu Primary School to share educational presentations about safety and health. The pharmacy professionals also brought sanitary pads and toiletries for the children and the day was filled with fun activities.

3. Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital

The pharmacy staff at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital staff celebrated Pharmacy Month and World Pharmacy Day by conducting in-hospital outreach, wherein they educated their colleagues and patients about various health issues and the theme for Pharmacy Month. The staff also engaged in talks about mental health in the workplace and conducted a quiz for other health care workers within the hospital.

Isabella Mphuthi (Head of Pharmacy), handing over the prize to the quiz winner Annah Leshaba
Isabella Mphuthi (Head of Pharmacy), handing over the prize to the quiz winner Annah Leshaba

4. Limpopo Provincial Department of Health

Pharmacy professionals and pharmacies attached to the Limpopo Provincial Department of Health ran a coordinated Pharmacy Month awareness and outreach programme championed by the Provincial Member of the Executive Council (MEC), Dr Phophi Ramathuba, which saw various outreach activities being carried out throughout the province. The activities included school visits, community education campaigns, and corporate social investment (CSI) initiatives. The MEC partnered with SAAHIP for an outreach initiative at Masedu High School in Polokwane, where sanitary towels and other supplies were provided to learners.

The Mankweng and Jane Furse Hospital Pharmacies also undertook CSI initiatives, providing supplies and other needed products to Hlahlaganya Drop on Centre and Mohlatlego Machaba High School, respectively. The Botlokwa Hospital Pharmacy partnered with Anova on a door-to-door community awareness campaign in Ward 7 of Molemole Municipality in Limpopo.

5. SAAHIP in Mpumalanga

The South African Association of Hospital and Institutional Pharmacists (SAAHIP) in Mpumalanga organised a 5km/10km fun run on 23 September 2022 in order to celebrate Pharmacy Month.

6. South African Military Health Service

The South African Military Health Service held a celebration and undertook a patient awareness initiative at 1 Mil Hospital in Thaba Tshwane, Pretoria. The event provided education on Pharmacy Month, the 2022 Pharmacy Month theme and the importance of Pharmacy in the healthcare value chain. The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) Area Military Health Unit in the North West held a Pharmacy Month awareness day where pharmacy professionals within the unit educated their colleagues on women and youth health issues, and the value that pharmacy professionals add to their health and wellbeing.

7. Helen Joseph Hospital

The Helen Joseph Hospital Pharmacy team undertook a Pharmacy Month awareness drive targeted at both patients and their colleagues in the hospital. The pharmacy professionals educated patients on the importance of pharmacists and pharmacy support personnel in health care, and provided information on women and youth health care, in line with the 2022 Pharmacy Month theme.

8. City of Tshwane

In addition to the health screening day in partnership with TUTAPS as noted above, the City of Tshwane Pharmacy Team carried out various outreach, social media, and patient awareness programmes across its public health care (PHC) clinics throughout September 2022. Some of the Tshwane PHC clinics that took part City of Tshwane Pharmacy Month programme include, the Stanza Bopape II in Mamelodi, Laudium Clinic, Pretorius Park Clinic, Hercules Clinic, and Lyttelton Clinic, amongst others.

9. ZF Mgcawu Pharmaceutical Depot

The ZF Mgcawu Pharmaceutical Depot in the Northern Cape undertook a public awareness and media campaign. A team of pharmacy professionals from the depot also partook in a radio talk show on Radio Riverside wherein they discussed various issues relating to women and youth health. It is also worth noting that the Northern Cape Department of Health, under the leadership of Provincial Health MEC, Mr Maruping Lekwene, absorbed ninety-nine (99) Pharmacist’s Assistants into permanent roles across its healthcare facilities during Pharmacy Month.

These are only a few of the outreach programmes undertaken by the profession and various stakeholders during Pharmacy Month; chiefly they are constituted by those reported to Council and those the Office of the Registrar was made aware of. We congratulate and thank all pharmacy professionals who took part in the 2022 Pharmacy Month awareness campaign, most of whom have not been included within this report.

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