The World Health Organization recommends a ratio of one pharmacist per 10,000 people. But Uganda’s ratio of pharmacist to population is below what is recommended. Ideally, to meet the WHO target, Uganda would have to immediately recruit 3,500 pharmacists.
But records available with the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda (PSU) reveal that presently, there are slightly over 700 trained pharmacists today for a population of 35 million people.
UGO had a chance to interact with one of the few professional qualified pharmacists in the country. Lwanga Charles is a pharmacist, working at EVA Pharma and Sanisphere as a field analyst. Previously, he was working at Mengo hospital.
Briefly describe the work you do?
As a pharmacist, I consider myself a custodian of drugs/medicines, therefore the work I do is to make sure that patients get the right medication in the right dose regimens, lookout for any adverse drug effects, drug-drug interactions & drug-food interactions.
Also in Eva pharma I take part in the marketing of their drugs which involves carrying out seminars &/or teachings for other stakeholders i.e. doctors, nurses & dispensers.
What three things do you need to be successful in this career?
Intelligence, opportunism and self belief
In 50 words or fewer, describe the skills and talents you are proud to posses.
Communication and social skills: I get them mostly from my mother who is a people person. I’m always clear and precise. I treat and speak to everyone with the utmost respect they deserve.
Dancing: strictly for fun and relaxing. Rugby; when I watch &/or play it, my passion is fulfilled.
Pharmacist; skills obtained from my profession; they guide me in my daily activities.
How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition, on a scale of 1 to 10?
I define success in terms of accomplishing what is expected of me by me, those close to me and finally the community I’m in. For now I measure up to 7.5
What’s the worst thing about your current job and what’s the best?
The worst thing is the fact that I get off very late at night. I miss spending quality time with my family. The best thing is the feeling and satisfaction I get when I treat a patient and he/she recovers fully.
Are you in a relationship?
Does your job interfere with your relationship?
Most times, it doesn’t give me enough time to spend with my girlfriend.
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What is your philosophy towards your work?
Knowledge is not toxic. If they did it, so can I! Everyone at a certain point in time had to learn what they know now so in whatever situation I get in at work and don’t know or not sure what to do, I seek for the knowledge needed to handle it either from my colleagues, superiors and/or the literature.
Describe some safe work practices you’ve learned from previous jobs and how you rate your overall safety record.
Avoid conflicting with your boss more than twice over the same issue.
Avoid complicating life at work by dating co-workers especially if the other person isn’t interested, though always keep friendly.
Always keep time on tasks at hand.
Describe your most ideal work environment.
Working in an international grade hospital whose pharmacy department does everything from compounding, procurement, dispensing and pharmaceutical care. And also working in a National regulatory body such as National Drug Authority
How do you handle negative criticism?
I’m always optimistic about what I set out to do and always try to do my best. Once I’m contented that I tried my best, the rest matters less because I couldn’t do it any better. But I always leave room for taking advice.
How do you spend your free time?
Spend time with my family and friends for instance going for rugby games, to the beach or club. Also I’m a big fun of Hollywood movies and Series so I watch them too. Listen to music.
What gadgets are you most interested in?
Tablets especially the Samsung galaxy note tab and smart phones.
If you were asked to pick two celebrities in the world to be your guardians for two years, who would you choose?
Bill Gates: He was able to create success (Microsoft & windows) right from just ideas and built on it to the top and finally he consistently out-competes others.
K. Rowling: her imagination in her novel Harry Potter is just exceptional and puts my mind to a challenge and heights no drink can achieve. I admire their work and hope I can leave up to similar greatness.
What is the most stupid thing you have ever done for fun?
Have a water fight in the house with my beautiful girlfriend; by the time we were done, everything was wet.
What are the major qualities you would want your future wife to posses?
For relationship qualities, I look for Love, Faithfulness, Honesty, Trust and Respect. In life qualities, I consider intelligence, hard working and daring.
What are the three qualities you would want your son-in-law to posses?
Loving, honest to my daughter and should be hardworking.