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AIHA Partners Publish Pharmacy Technician Training Manual

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Washington, DC, July 15, 2016 —  The American International Health Alliance (AIHA) today celebrates the publication of “The Southern African Pharmacy Technician Training Manual” by our partners at The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Department of Pharmacy in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

“This is the first textbook designed specifically for pharmacy technicians in the southern African region,” says co-author Teri-Lynne Fogarty, a lecturer and the coordinator of NMMU’s Pharmacy Technician program. “It can be used as a learning tool for pharmacy technicians in English-speaking countries in southern Africa as part of a university-level course, or as part of an on-the-job training program,” she explains, noting that while the manual illustrates the laws and practices of South Africa, instructors and students from other countries can readily apply their own country’s laws and regulations as necessary.

The manual consists of more than 400 pages divided into 18 logical, easy-to-follow chapters. Replete with numerous illustrations and examples, the textbook covers topics such as dosage forms, scheduled substances, pharmacy calculations, the dispensing process, patient communications, medical terminology, common disease states, basic pharmacology, and sterile and non-sterile compounding. A special section covers HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis and a handy table lists the most frequently prescribed medications in South Africa with information about brand and generic names, pharmacologic class, most common uses, and dosage forms.

“This manual fills a need for both universities and employers [looking] to provide education and training for aspiring pharmacy support personnel. Previously, we had to use textbooks from Europe or North America that were not specific to the African context,” explains Shirley-Anne Boschmans, a co-author and Head of NMMU’s Department of Pharmacy. “This book focuses on technicians’ basic job responsibilities and is designed to be flexible,” she says.

NMMU’s Department of Pharmacy has been partnering with the St. Louis College of Pharmacy since 2013 to support its new Pharmacy Technician training program. To date, NMMU has graduated 125 Pharmacy Technicians and currently enrolls 242 first- and second-year students in the program. This partnership is supported by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in South Africa. It is managed by AIHA through our HIV/AIDS Twinning Center Program, which is funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The Manual is published by Pharmacy Administration Consultants, LLC, and based on a US text written by Kenneth W. Schafermeyer of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Publication rights for adaptation of the US text to the South African context were generously provided by Ascend Learning and Jones and Bartlett Learning of Burlington, Massachusetts. As a community service, NMMU is offering the Manual at cost; neither the publisher nor the distributor make profits on its sale, which means students can purchase it for about one-quarter the cost of similar books published outside the region. An Instructor’s Guide provides discussion questions, exercises, and sample test questions and is available to instructors who order 20 or more copies of the Manual. Purchase information is available via email: ptmanualorders@nmmu.ac.za.

For more information, please contact:

John Capati
AIHA Regional Director, Southern Africa
Tel. +27 82 882 2498
jbcapati@yahoo.com

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