Improving the Professional Registration Process of Pharmacy Personnel through Streamlining the Assessment Framework, Methods, and Tools in Namibia. April, 2014
(2014; 40 pages)

Muungo, T, Sagwa, E, Mazibuko G and H, Kagoya. 2012. Improving the Professional Registration Process of Pharmacy Personnel through Streamlining the Assessment Framework, Methods, and Tools in Namibia. Submitted to the US Agency for International Development by the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program. Arlington, VA: Management Sciences for Health.

Abrégé

The USAID-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program, implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), conducted a preliminary assessment to evaluate the screening system and processes in use for pharmaceutical practitioners concerning legal recognition to practice in Namibia. This was also conducted to advise the Pharmacy Council of Namibia (PCN) on improvements that can be made to the screening process for the pharmacy practitioner competency assessment and registration/licensure process. The goal is to make more pharmacists, technicians, and pharmacists’assistants (PAs) available to provide appropriate pharmaceutical care services in general and make antiretroviral therapy (ART) in particular more accessible to patients, especially in rural settings. The assessment, conducted on March 17–21, 2014, solicited the views of practitioners, professional societies, and the council.

Pharmaceutical responsibilities cover several health care practices provided for patients in general and HIV and AIDS patients specifically, ranging from dispensing medications to monitoring patients’ health and progress, to maximizing their response to the medication. Pharmacists also inform consumers and patients about the use of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, and provide advice to physicians, nurses, and other health professionals on decisions they make regarding medicines. Pharmacists also provide expertise on the composition of medicines, including their chemical, biological, and physical properties, and their manufacture and use. They ensure the purity and strength of medicines, and make sure they do not interact in a harmful way. Pharmacists are medicine experts who are ultimately concerned about their patients’ health and wellness.

Namibia faces a shortage of pharmaceutical personnel. The increased burden that HIV and AIDS has placed on national health systems in general has made this shortage even more severe. At the time of this field survey, the most common opinion of the interviewees was that pharmaceutical staffing in both the public and private health sectors was very low. As a result, more pharmacists and PAs are greatly needed to support pharmaceutical care provision, and the ongoing decentralization of ART services and making ART widely available to HIV-positive patients, especially in far-reaching rural settings.

Observed from the field, foreign-trained personnel constitute the majority of the pharmacist workforce in Namibia, and they are usually on fixed-term contracts (short, medium, or long term). In view of this, the regulatory body that oversees the registration of pharmacy personnel needs to put in place mechanisms to ensure that this profession meets national statutory requirements and simultaneously ensures that adequately qualified staff are registered to practice in the country.

 
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