(Published - 19 March 2020)
The UWC School of Pharmacy and the UWC Association of Pharmacy Students (UWCAPS) adopted the hashtag #CombatCoVID-19 as they put their skills as healthcare practitioners-in-training to good use and embarked on a campus-wide campaign to share prevention strategies, debunk myths and provide health-related advice pertaining to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Mariam Parker, Pharmacy Practice lecturer, who led the students on this initiative, said the School has a responsibility to the campus community to raise awareness around prevention strategies.
“'We all have a social responsibility to each other, our children, our sick and our elders to do our bit to stop this virus,'' she said during a presentation to cleaning staff.
(Parker and the students addressed 180+ members of the cleaning staff contingent who were split across several venues, in order to comply with Pres Ramaphosa's ban on public gatherings exceeding 100 people.)
When members of the cleaning staff contingent requested copies of the infographic materials designed by the UWCAPS students (posters and leaflets) to place in churches, shops and halls in their communities, Dr Parker encouraged their enthusiasm to champion education and awareness around COVID-19 by being beacons of information in these communities. "The information should not remain here, please go tell your families, your neighbours and friends," said Dr Parker.
She went on to urge them to protect themselves in public transit and public spaces through regular and proper handwashing, social distancing and surface disinfecting where possible. Furthermore, UWCAPS advised on symptom identification, symptom chronology and public sector resources to tap into if and when required.
Dr Parker explained that the sincere, selfless and passionate efforts made by the pharmacy students are a beacon of light in these dark times and provides hope for leadership and social agency in the health care of the future.
This week UWC’s Executive Management Committee (EMC) met to discuss a plan of action for the University. The University has also decided to institute a virtual graduation ceremony for the safety of its students and staff.
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