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Pharmacy Community Engagement

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Community Service

Provide assistance to Leratong Hospice, a non-governmental organisation in Atteridgeville West, with the management of their pharmaceuticals. Prof JC Meyer, Mr KJ Mahlaba

Scientific advisor on pharmacovigilance, cold chain management and logistics to the South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre (SAVIC). Prof JC Meyer.

Scientific advisor on vaccination of the elderly to the South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre (SAVIC). Mr M Sibanda.

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Activities in support of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) in South Africa – Prof JC Meyer

Participation in and presentation at quarterly EPI task group meetings
• Implementation of hepatitis B birth dose

ALMA School is a school for severe intellectual disabled children situated in Eloffsdal, Pretoria. The 360 learners, from all races and between the ages of three and 21, suffer from e.g. epilepsy, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy etc. During 2018, the staff and students of the School of Pharmacy got involved with this school via the PSSA-NG, whom support ALMA School as part of their social responsibility. The School took responsibility of the hamburger/boerewors roll stall during the annual fete – from collecting funds, buying stocks, arranging transport and logistics and manning the stall. On the day, the school had a profit of approximately R50, 000.00

Media Engagements

Prof JC Meyer, television interview on ANN7 Shape your Life, as part of African Vaccination Week 2018, on Sunday 22nd April 2018.

Workshop on Rational Medicine Use

Prof Meyer and Dr Matlala presented a workshop for the Department of Health Limpopo Province, Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee: Rational Medicines Use Subcommittee, Polokwane Hospital, 10-11 October 2018.

Tshwane District Training for pharmacists and Pharmacist’s Assistants

Mr Sibanda presented on Pharmaceutical Waste Management. 17 August 2018.

Influenza Vaccination Campaign

In May 2018 the MPharm academic interns from the Public Health Pharmacy and Management Division arranged a drive to vaccinate all staff and students in the School of Pharmacy against influenza. Vaccines were provided by the Gauteng Department of Health.

The Annual Vaccination Catch-Up Campaign

Which was held around Tshwane in August 2018, is an ongoing commitment of staff and students from the Division of Public Health Pharmacy and Management and the South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre (SAVIC) at SMU, in collaboration with the Gauteng Department of Health (DoH), Tshwane District Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) to increase herd immunity and ensure that children, families and communities are protected against vaccine preventable diseases. The aim of the campaign is to improve access to vaccines, vaccinate children who missed their scheduled vaccinations and to create awareness amongst parents and caregivers about the importance of vaccination.


Without the generous support from Sanofi, SAVIC and Big Save through private-public partnerships. Neither would the campaign have been such a great success without the commitment and participation of dedicated nurses from the Tshwane District EPI who vaccinated children and provided Vitamin A supplementation and de-worming. Groups of enthusiastic students from the School of Pharmacy and the Department of Virology at SMU walked the streets of these communities, going to schools, crèches and to local community radio stations, spreading the message about the campaign. On the actual campaign days, they also walked from house-to-house, informing parents and caregivers about the campaign site in the community and the importance of vaccination.


By the communities and its success was evident from the 675 children reached over three Saturdays in August 2018. The first campaign was held at Mabopane Big Save where 151 children were reached on 4 August 2018, followed by 187 children reached at Sekampaneng Primary School, Hammanskraal on 11 August 2018 and 337 children reached at Calvary Christ Mission Church in Lusaka, Mamelodi East on 18 August 2018. Over 50% of all children reached, received vaccines, the majority of whom received tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine given at 5-6 years and at 12 years of age, followed by the measles vaccine. The campaign team conducted a small survey amongst some of the attending parents to determine why they brought their children to the campaign. Common responses from parents were that they work during the week and cannot take their children to the clinic, and that Saturdays were more convenient for them, while other parents said they heard about the campaign and decided to bring their children.


On 27 July 2018 and continued until 18 August 2018 on social media, radio stations, posters and distribution of pamphlets. Big Save Mabopane also sent SMSs to crèches in the Mabopane area. Adverts were aired on Soshanguve-, Moretele- and Mamelodi Community Radio covering the period of the campaign. The campaign activities and all relevant stakeholders were well represented on appropriate social media platforms for the duration of the campaign using the following hashtags: #VaccineWork, #VCP18, #Everychild, #EndVPDs, #Health4all and #WeareSMU.

An infographic was designed to remind parents and caregivers of the child’s next scheduled vaccination. This was made available in the form of a fridge magnet and given to all children who visited the campaign. The Mabopane campaign was published by the Rekord newspaper, while a report on the overall campaign will appeared in the SMU’s quarterly newsletter ‘Focus on SMU’, Volume 2, 8th Edition, October 2018.

Pharmacy Month

Mr Mahlaba presented: Use your medicines wisely, Weskoppies Hospital, Pretoria, 3 September 2018 • Use your medicines wisely, Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital, Pretoria, 21 September 2018

Maths and Science Support Programme

The School of Pharmacy applied for and received funding, from the Chemical Industries Education & Training Authority (CHIETA), to run a maths and science support programme for Grade 10 and 11 learners from the Ga-Rankuwa community. The programme was offered on campus on Saturdays and during the July and September school holidays. The scholars were collected from their schools and transported to campus where they attended classes offered by Maths and Science teachers.


The aim of the project is to strengthen maths and science skills of the learners in the communities, allowing them to meet the minimum requirements and obtain University entrance. Holding the classes on campus, also exposes the students to the tertiary education opportunities. The programme employs top teachers who teach these students maths and science on Saturdays, as well as during the school holidays. The learners give up their free time to attend these sessions, in hope of improving their futures.

4th East Africa Centre for Vaccines and Immunization (ECAVI) Vaccinology Course in Kampala, Uganda, 25-19 June 2018

Prof Meyer presented: • Vaccine Pharmacology • Pneumococcal vaccines • Vaccine safety

Pharmacy Month outreach activity at Phedisong 6 Primary Health Clinic, Ga-Rankuwa Zone 6, Gauteng

On 20 September 2018, the Division of Public Health Pharmacy and Management reached out to the patients at Phedisong 6, Primary Health Clinic, in Zone 6 of Ga-Rankuwa to educate them on the safe use of their medicines, in line with the Pharmacy Month theme of ‘’Use medicines wisely’’. The team split into three groups and engaged in interactive sessions with approximately 300 patients in various units of the clinic. Patients were educated using a poster and a pamphlet containing information on chronic medicine use, storage, sharing and disposal of medicines.

SAVIC Vaccinology Short Courses

Prof Meyer presented: • Introduction to Vaccine Manufacturing and Distribution: 20-21 February 2018 (Turbine Hotel, Knysna); (19-20 April 2018 (SMU); 17-18 May 2018 (Turbine Hotel, Knysna). • Introduction to Vaccines against Bacterial and Viral Vaccine Preventable Diseases: 17-18 May 2018 (Turbine Hotel, Knysna); 20-21 September 2018 (SMU). • Introduction to cold chain management: 7-8 August 2018 (Turbine Hotel, Knysna); 22-23 November 2018. • Introduction to adverse events following immunisation: 7-8 August 2018 (Turbine Hotel, Knysna); 22-23 November 2018.