USIU Africa Pharmacy
Pharmacy students pose for a photo during a practical class session. Photo: Antonio Longangi

By Eugene Otoo and Diana Meso

On Friday, July 20, the School of Pharmacy and Health Science hosted its staff, faculty and students for an inaugural breakfast meeting in LT4, to discuss the current state of the school, new developments and provide a platform for staff, students and faculty to interact.

The breakfast was also held to celebrate the leadership of the former program director Dr. Betty Mbatia, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Biotechnology and welcome Dr. Lincoln Munyendo the Inaugural Chair, Department of Industrial and Analytical Pharmacy.

Prof. Njeri Wamae, Dean, School of Pharmacy and Health Science, pointed out that apart from launching the new program, B.Sc. in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the school plans to introduce two other innovative programs; B. Tech Analytical Chemistry and B.Sc. in Applied Biochemistry in the next academic year.
Moreover, Prof. Wamae further said that the school is working to introduce B.Sc. Medical Laboratory Sciences and B.Sc. Nursing in the near future, adding that as the school expands, new innovative market driven health science programs will also be introduced.

The Dean pointed out that the Mentor/Mentee initiative where students are matched with faculty to ensure that all students get professional attention from faculty has been successfully completed with each member of faculty being allocated 17 students to mentor. 

Prof. Wamae uplauded the school for the great research work and publishing and encouraged participants to take part in research activities. She also pointed out that the Kenyan Government is gradually supporting high quality research since it has commitment 2% (amounts to 45-60 Billion KSH) of the country’s GDP towards research, as indicated in the Science Technology and Innovation Act (2013). Prof. Wamae further said that the government established the National Research Fund (NRF) body to manage the research fund where some members of faculty and staff from the school have been awarded research grants.

Prof. Wamae said that in the 2018/2019 academic year, the school plans to hire new faculty and staff, purchase state of the art equipment, construct Animal House to house and care for laboratory animals and continue with the renovations in the Pharmacy Skills Laboratory.

The incoming chair, Dr. Lincon Munyendo said that he is grateful for his appointment and added that he will work together with faculty, staff and students to grow the school in accordance to the University’s strategic plan.