Pharmacists are experts in medicine and their use. They dispense drugs and educate patients on how to manage their medication for optimal treatment. Well-trained pharmacists can diagnose and advise patients on minor illnesses. In Africa, they play a key role in managing the supply and distribution of drugs for major conditions such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.
Uganda has only one pharmacist for every 90,000 people. The vast majority are based in the central region, leaving the other three regions greatly underserved. The Ministry of Health has estimated that only 30% of the required number of pharmacists are available.
We started sponsoring pharmacists at Makerere University College of Health Sciences in December 2011.
Rodgers is from the village of Nabuti in the Mukomo District, and was struggling to pay the tuition fees for his first year before winning a Medic to Medic scholarship. He hopes to return back to his village to set up a pharmacy someday.