Clinical pharmacy in the Sudan: Current state and future challenges

Sumia Sir-Elkhatim Mohamed

Abstract


Background: Pharmacy is the health profession that has the responsibility for ensuring the safe, effective and rational use of medicines. In recent years there has been a significant advancement in the pharmacy
profession, driven by the World Health Organization declarations regarding the new role of pharmacists and the pursuit of pharmacists themselves of the goals of medicine management and pharmaceutical care.
Objectives: To provide an overview of the current status of clinical pharmacy in the Sudan and explore future challenges regarding pharmaceutical care practice.
Methods: Four levels were identified and evaluated; undergraduate education, postgraduate training, the practice, future challenges and the role of leadership. Formal and informal discussions with concerned
parties and a series of formal meetings were held regarding pharmacy education and practice. The current undergraduate curricula as well as postgraduate and in-service training were assessed. A number of documents
that addressed pharmacy education and practice in selected countries were reviewed.
Results: In Sudan the admission to the college of pharmacy follows eleven years of school education compared to 12 – 13 years in other countries. Unlike many countries which shifted to either Mpharm or
PharmD six years degrees, the 5 years bachelor of pharmacy degree remains the first pharmacy degree in all pharmacy schools in Sudan. The pharmacy curriculum is centred on compounding, dispensing and laboratory
sessions which are the traditional roles of the pharmacists. No clinically centred teaching is included in the curricula. Over the past 2 decades, the pharmacy graduates number has increased approximately 305% with
a dramatic increase from 3 schools of pharmacy in 1994 to 16 in 2012. Nevertheless, severe shortage in pharmacy workforce, especially qualified academics, is identified. The majority of pharmacy graduates enter
the community sector, followed by hospitals, industry and academia. There is 1 pharmacist for every 7468 individuals and 1 community pharmacy for every 17551 inhabitants. The total number of hospitals in Sudan is
357 with mostly 1-2 pharmacies and 1-5 pharmacists in each hospital. At academic level, the staff: student ratio at the faculty of pharmacy, University of Khartoum (U of K) is 1: 50. This ratio reaches 1:150 in some schools
of pharmacy in Sudan. Academia finds it difficult to attract suitably qualified applicant. Despite the difficulties that face academics and practitioners alike, there is strong desire to modernize the teaching and practice of
pharmacy in Sudan. A master degree in clinical pharmacy was established as well as clinical training at Soba University Hospital. Overall the level of clinical pharmacy services provided is low, at both public and private
sectors. Many obstacles and barriers were identified.
Conclusion: The move to and sustainability of patient-focused teaching and practice involves many dimensions and collaboration of different parties. Partnership links are important within the departments of the university
and with other universities, in Sudan and abroad, as well as research centres, national and international organizations, to support and share experiences. A sound and supportive role of leadership is essential for this
evolution.

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ISSN: 1858-5345