South Africa: As part of a key strategy to ensure a more effective service with regards to the availability of pharmaceuticals and the provision of pharmaceutical care in health facilities across the Province, the Northern Cape Health MEC, Mr Maruping Lekwene, today welcomes the permanent absorption of the ninety-nine (99) Post Basic Pharmacy Assistant learners in the Department.
This move comes after MEC Lekwene announced during the 2022/2023 Health Budget Vote that about ninety-nine (99) Post Basic Pharmacy Assistants will qualify in July this financial year and shall, upon conclusion of their studies, be absorbed primarily in Primary health facilities.
These learners were recruited from towns where they reside, as they are to take up employment at those facilities in close proximity to their place of residence.
This milestone achievement was made possible by the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) in the 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 financial years, wherein these learners were enrolled on the Pharmacy Assistant Learnership Programme.
Of the 99 Pharmacy Assistant learners enrolled in 2020, 13 learners in possession of a Basic Pharmacy Assistant Qualification completed their Post Basic Pharmacy Assistant qualification during the course of 2021.
The remaining 86 learners completed their Basic Pharmacy Assistant qualification during the course of 2021 and were subsequently enrolled for the Post Basic qualification when funding was once again secured from HWSETA for the 2021/22 financial year.
To date, they have all qualified as Post Basic Pharmacy Assistants and will undergo training on our RX Solution System. This will enable the Department to keep a close eye on the levels of our stock as well as the rate of utilisation.
“We are elated with these appointments, as they will assist in building a resilient and sustainable system within health care facilities in order for service delivery, including COVID-19 vaccinations, to continue with minimal disruptions. Not only is this a push towards denting youth unemployment, this creates a career path that will also relieve nursing staff from focusing on dispensing medication and focus on patient care.” – MEC Lekwene said.
In terms of the 2022 Health Awareness Calendar, the month of September marks Pharmacy month. During this month, our team will embark on a series of campaigns focusing on, among others; – reproductive health and family planning; chronic diseases, treatment and lifestyle modifications; pharmaceutical management of mental health, and screening for TB, HIV, STI and other chronic conditions.