University of Namibia : School of Pharmacy

The School of Pharmacy is currently one of three Schools in the Faculty of Health Sciences. The creation of Namibia’s first School of Pharmacy has not been accidental nor has it occurred spontaneously. In reality, a huge amount of preparatory work, thought and investment has gone into the School of Pharmacy and Bachelor of Pharm (Honours) degree (BPharm). This has involved direct governmental attention, as well as international assistance and support. A summary of these activities is provided as follows:

  • 2009: Initial scoping of the needs-base and case for tertiary pharmacy education in Namibia (Brock, T, Wuliji, T, Sagwa, E, Mabirizi, D. 2009. Technical Report: Exploring the Establishment of a Pharmacy Course at the University of Namibia, March 12–27, 2009)
  • 2010: Articulation and approval of the BPharm curriculum by the University of Namibia (Rennie, T.W., et al. 2011. Sustaining Namibia. Improving the Nation’s health through sustainable pharmacy competency. International Pharmacy Journal, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 21-24)
  • 2011: First ever intake of BPharm students and launch of the BPharm programme
  • 2011: Accreditation of the BPharm curriculum by the HPCNA
  • 2011: Creation of the Department of Pharmacy
  • 2012: Accreditation of the Department of Pharmacy by the HPCNA and by the Namibia Qualification Authority
  • 2012: Placements in the rural setting and community pharmacies takes place for the first time with great success [New Era newspaper. First pharmacy students on field attachments 6th Jun 2012
  • 2012: Approval by UNAM of the creation of a School of Pharmacy UNAM Forum, November 2012
  • 2013: Inauguration of the School of Pharmacy by the Prime Minister
  • 2014: UNAM approval for the implementation of the Diploma in Pharmacy programme
  • 2015: UNAM approval of the post-graduate Master of Pharmacy (Clinical Pharmacy) programme

The University has so far successfully created 20 staff positions to serve the School of Pharmacy covering the disciplines of pharmacology, pharmacy practice, pharmaceutics, pharmaceutical chemistry and pharmacognosy. In addition, the School partners with renowned international institutions in the SADC region, UK, USA and Australia to provide assistance with external moderation, development and implementation of teaching resources, and training of faculty in the UNAM School of Pharmacy to build capacity for the future.

The UNAM pharmacy programme has attracted 170 students in its first five years of operation, including students from the wider SADC region. It is anticipated that the School of Pharmacy will continue to enrol between 50 and 80 new students per year to resolve the shortage of pharmacists and pharmaceutical technicians in Namibia in a sustainable approach.

The School is under a continuous accreditation process involving the Health Professions Councils of Namibia/Pharmacy Council of Namibia, the Namibia Qualifications Authority, and the National Council for Higher Education. The Bachelor of Pharmacy degree is a registered programme on the Namibia Qualifications Framework. 

Departments

  • Pharmaceutics
  • Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Pharmacy Practice and Policy
  • Phytochemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry

WHY STUDY AT THE SCHOOL OF PHARMACY?

In this era, Pharmacy is a health profession. The term ‘profession’ is defined and explored in pharmacy studies but essentially it relates to a higher degree of responsibility and accountability; pharmacists are accountable to a regulatory Council that seeks to protect the patient and public. We try to instill in our students the principle that the patient is the first and greatest priority to the pharmacist. Otherwise, pharmacists might best be described as the medicines expert, and pharmacy as the bridge between the pure sciences and the patient/public.

There are many fields of practice in Pharmacy but the major routes that pharmacy graduates follow are Community Pharmacy, Hospital Pharmacy, Industry/Manufacturing, Wholesale and Academic Pharmacy. These different fields will demand different competencies depending on what skills, knowledge and attitudes are required.

The opportunities after studying the Bachelor of Pharmacy Honours degree are huge and some choose not to enter into the profession but to use their degree to undertake a career in a related area such as the pharmaceutical industry, research, business management etc. However, with a great shortage of pharmacists in Namibia, in the wider SADC region and generally in the world, the job opportunities – as well as career satisfaction – are excellent. Speak to most pharmacists and you will find a hard-working but satisfied professional.

Within the profession of pharmacy the pharmacist is not alone. In Namibia, the law provides for not only the pharmacist but other supportive cadres including the Pharmacist’s Assistant (currently trained in the Ministry of Health).

POSSIBLE CAREERS AFTER GRADUATING FROM PHARMACY

There are myriad of careers awaiting graduates of pharmacy although typically, in Namibia, these would centre mainly in the Ministry of Health and Social Services and in the private sector as community pharmacists. However, there is great future opportunity within the pharmaceutical industry sector, regulation and many areas besides:

  • Academic Pharmacist
  • Community Pharmacist
  • Compounding Pharmacist
  • Critical Care Pharmacist
  • Drug Information Specialist
  • Home Care Pharmacist
  • Hospice Pharmacist
  • Hospital Pharmacist
  • Industry-Based Pharmacist
  • Infectious Disease Pharmacis
  • Long-term Care Pharmacist
  • Managed Care Pharmacist
  • Military Pharmacist
  • Nuclear Pharmacist
  • Nutrition Support Pharmacist
  • Oncology Pharmacist
  • Operating Room Pharmacist
  • Pediatric Pharmacist
  • Poison Control Pharmacist
  • Primary Care Pharmacist
  • Psychiatric Pharmacist
  • Public Health Service Pharmacist
  • Regulatory Pharmacist
  • Veterinary Pharmacist

School of Pharmacy Contact Information

+264 61 206 5053

+264 88 652 6605

trennie@unam.na