Message from the President
Prof Manoranjenni (Mano) Chetty – President
I bring you greetings from our councillors. Now in our second year of office, we are well prepared to steer the profession to play a meaningful role in the country’s healthcare team.
The government’s National Development Plan has proposed the following key health outcome targets for the year 2030:
- a life expectancy rate of at least 70 years
- an infant mortality rate of less than 20 deaths per thousand
- an under-five year mortality rate of less than 30 deaths per thousand
- the generation of under-20 years being largely free of HIV.
Statistics from 2013 show an adult life expectancy of about 62 years, an infant mortality rate of 29 deaths per 1 000 live births and an under-five year mortality rate of 41 deaths per 1 000. Pharmacists have a crucial role in achieving the above targets set for national healthcare.
I urge you, colleagues, to play an active and effective role in the supply of medicines and pharmaceutical care to all communities in South Africa. We should strive to differentiate our profession from other healthcare professions as the most suitably trained custodian of pharmaceuticals. This will support a meaningful role for pharmacists in the national health coverage plan.
Great opportunities exist for pharmacists to supply chronic medicines to patients in areas that currently do not have pharmacies or clinics. As a profession, we need to innovate and develop solutions to this problem so we are involved in the supply of medicines and counselling to these patients. Details of areas lacking pharmaceutical services will be available on the SAPC website soon.
Pharmacists also have an important national role in curbing antimicrobial resistance. To control this global problem, all healthcare personnel must adhere to policies developed in their countries. The Antimicrobial Resistance National Strategy Framework for South Africa is now available from the National Department of Health, and many of the strategic objectives could be achieved with the active participation of pharmacists.
Council plans to visit the provinces and meet with different pharmacy organisations and societies during the next two years. We hope these visits will initiate more effective communication between Council and its members, and assist Council in understanding some of the opportunities and challenges experienced by the profession.
A further opportunity for discussions and debate between different pharmacy sectors will present itself at the next National Pharmacy Conference which is being planned for 2016. We trust that these interactions will support our growth and effectiveness as a profession.
In my next address, I will update you on the progress we have made on the focus areas that I outlined in the November 2014 issue of Pharmaciae.