USIU-Africa launches training for health care providers on immunization skills

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By Dr. Lincoln Munyendo
Amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners are working to diversify responses beyond tracking the pandemic, advising on critical interventions to distributing vital medical supplies to those in need. Concerted efforts to develop and deploy safe and effective vaccines are also a priority strategy across the globe.

The School of Pharmacy & Health Sciences partnered with the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya and developed a short course for capacity building of health professionals, which was launched on April 29, 2021. The development of the course was overseen by the Dean of the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Prof. Francis Ndemo, Pharm.D, Dr. Lucas Nyabero, Pharm.D, and Dr. Lincoln Munyendo, PhD.

Speaking at the launch, which was attended by the USIU-Africa Vice Chancellor, Prof. Paul Zeleza, and the CEO of the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya, Dr. Daniella Munene, Prof. Ndemo noted that the initiative was one of the many strategic initiatives by the School to broaden its course offering to ensure that it developed a pool of highly qualified, well trained professionals.

“The engagement between USIU-Africa and the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya is considered strategic as this has the potential to yield the much needed healthcare skilled capacity during current times of pandemics like COVID-19,”he said.

In attendance was Ministry of Health officials, Pharmacy & Poisons Board officers amongst other health care professionals across Africa.

The short course is geared to educate pharmacists and other healthcare providers about the impact of vaccines on public health; providers role in immunization; immunological principles of vaccine development and immunization; vaccine preventable diseases, and the vaccines used to prevent them and strategies for improving immunization rates.

The Pharmacist as well as the Pharmaceutical Technologist in Kenya in particular are the most accessible health care workers in the community and they play a significant role as immunizers. Notably, there are many Pharmacy success stories in countries like USA and UK in this regard.

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