The University of Botswana School of Pharmacy recently held its 2nd White Coat Ceremony for 43 pharmacy students under the theme “Molding Pharmacists of Great Repute and Quality”. Speaking at the event, Chief Pharmacist in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr Vivian Sebako, described the Ceremony as a rite of passage where student pharmacists enter into a psychological contract committing themselves to professionalism and empathy in the pursuit of pharmacy practice.
Dr Sebako said it was during the ceremony that students commit to scientific excellence and to be compassionate in providing care towards humanity. She added that in that way the student put the interests and welfare of humanity above all. During the ceremony the students take a pledge, which Dr Sebako said was an assurance for contribution to the improvement of health care besides guaranteeing the public proper and better use of their medicines.
Dr Sebako called on the students to make sure that they added value to the profession and to make sure that they left a lasting legacy for the next generations. She further encouraged them to raise awareness about pharmacy to dispel the wrong and long held notion that anyone could dispense medicines.
“You need to be a professional to do that,” she emphasised, further highlighting the dire shortage of pharmacists in the country.
Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Ishmael Kasvosve, said the White Coat Ceremony marked an exciting moment for the students, who will be the third cohort to graduate from UB in 2024. He also reiterated that it was a rite a passage into the profession of pharmacy because he trusted they would all be graduating in 2024. Professor Kasvosve said the ceremony afforded the students time to reflect on the profession’s values and ethos given that patients invariably expected good service coupled with good attributes notwithstanding the challenges they may face.
He emphasised compassion, trust, caring and excellence as some of the personal attributes that a competent pharmacist must uphold at all times. Professor Kasvosve called on the students to be gender sensitive, apolitical and to treat all races and tribes equally if they were to earn the respect and trust of their patients.
Meanwhile, University of Botswana Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris and Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Mrs Motsei Rapelana, also attended the ceremony.
Source: University of Botswana