Karnataka pharmacy colleges aver that students have adequate skills to vaccinate & treat minor ailments

Nandita Vijay, BengaluruWednesday, January 25, 2023, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Pharmacy colleges in Karnataka have averred that their students have the adequate training and skills to administer vaccine and treat minor ailments. The Union and state governments have also introduced skilling of health science professionals which helped the budding pharmacists to widen their horizon to serve the community.
India is home to 4,015 pharmacy colleges of which 300 are in Karnataka. At the recently concluded Indian Pharmaceutical Congress held in Nagpur last week, a dedicated session on community pharmacists moderated by Manjari Gharat, vice president and chairperson Community Pharmacy Division, Indian Pharmaceutical Association noted that community pharmacy is on a growth path in India. World over too community pharmacists are expanding their services to vaccinate and treat minor ailments.
In an effort to show the interest and capability of community pharmacists in Karnataka on vaccinating the population and administering treatment for minor health ailments, Prof. Md. Salahuddin, principal, Al-Ameen College of Pharmacy, Bengaluru and general secretary, Karnataka State Pharmacy College Teachers Association noted that our pharmacy students are adept in immunisation and injections which are intravenous and intramuscular. It is time they are part of the Universal Immunisation Programme. They have undergone the required skilling in both intravenous and intramuscular injections. This will allow the government to offset the shortage of trained manpower at immunisation programmes in the country.
Further, pharmacy students have hands on expertise in using a blood pressure monitor, diabetes test apparatus etc which are point-of-care handy machines. Pharmacy students were pressed into service during the Covid pandemic to chart patient details and counsel them on the drug regime, said Prof. Salahuddin.
Even the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences has commenced training for pharmacy colleges and other related branches coming under its banner with basic care and life support (BCLS) training which is out of the curriculum.  The intent is to pharmacists can chip in their expertise during emergency medical conditions anywhere. This BCLS training and certification is provided by the Jeevaraksha Trust in collaboration with the Swami Vivekananda Youth and University of Utah USA. Therefore vaccinating and treating minor ailments are part and parcel of community pharmacist service, said Prof. Salahuddin, adding that this would be the only way for India to provide care by qualified and trained pharmacists who could interface with the medical experts.
In the case of Al Ameen College of Pharmacy, it has teamed up with St. Philomena Hospital in Bengaluru to take on Pharm D students into their fold and make them accountable during patient discharge with adequate counselling on medicine consumption and adverse drug reactions, said Prof. Salahuddin.
On a similar note was Prof R Raveendra, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Cauvery College of Pharmacy, Mysuru who said that vaccinating the community by pharmacists is an accepted practice. Pharmacy students were already engaged in the vaccination drive at its attached Cauvery Heart and multi-specialty hospital.
Our students have embarked on a house-to-house campaign to create an awareness on the need for a booster dose for improved immunity. In addition the first year D Pharm students are already engaged in public activities as part of their Social Pharmacy practicals to help senior citizens access their closet vaccination centre.
Related efforts across pharmacy colleges in North Karnataka have reiterated that their students have the adequate skills to administer vaccine and treat minor ailments.