It would be a lie if I stated I knew I wanted to pursue pharmacy when I decided to apply, one thing is for sure though, I wanted to be in a medical field and use my career to bring a difference in my country. My journey as far as I can say has been one of surprises together with lessons. My university being a diverse university in terms of culture I got to learn on different belief system and way of life.
What made be settle for pharmacy is the multiple fields it offers which made me open to see an opportunity, that is, pharmacy enables one to work with NGO’S. Without a doubt, I have been drawn to the less fortunate in my country Kenya. In terms of basic needs, that is to include health care service. Seeing the injustice brought pain to me and I wanted to see change I still want to. I have gotten the opportunity to visit various children home and street children, it goes without saying they are trying to make ends meet with what they have, but there is still so much to be done. As a result of tough life and the system failing, it is not surprising to see young children who ought to be in class, involving themselves in drug abuse and crime. We honestly do not choose where we are born, but it is sad to find yourself in a position where you are being limited by the failing system. Can we really blame them for trying to cope with the harsh reality the best way they know? Therefore what I see when I look at the street children, is a doctor, a Lawyer, a musician, a dancer and many other potentials going to waste. Be the change you want to see, is also another favourite quote I know of, and probably I will not change every individual I get to meet no matter how much I would like to, but that will not stop be to do what I can with what I have at hand. Through my pharmacy studies I have been able to connect with my friends who have the same interest as to help out, it not only gives me hope to have them but motivation to push through my dreams.
So in the next two years I get to graduate with different kinds of experiences, will I be ready to face the world with its challenges, I really can’t say for sure. However, one thing I am sure of is that I am not ready to give up on my dreams to show forth love to the less privileged through bringing change to them.
Anita is in her 4th/5 years of her bachelors degree in pharmacy at the United States International University-Africa (as of 2020), based in Kenya.
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Still driven by the fact that ‘we can be many things across our lifetime and it is absolutely okay, we do not have to box ourselves to only being one thing’.
I wanted to be a lot of things as I grew up, I still do. I believe I can be a polymath across my life time; I refuse to be boxed to only being one me. I really cannot trace how I landed into pharmacy school but all along I knew I wanted to do something related to medicine that would land me in a hospital somewhere in the world. But still I was so good in MATH in high school that at some point I pictured myself as an actuary somewhere seated in an office (a boss babe). As I reflect those years I now think it was just how cool I thought it was to do the hard math I saw my brother doing, he is an actuary now by the way. In my first two years in pharmacy school I thought I knew clearly what I wanted to do; clinical pharmacy majoring in internal medicine ( how cool) but shock on me, two years later I see myself in industrial pharmacy. I see myself doing a masters in bio-pharmaceutics. Remember, I said I wanted to be a lot of things? Still I see myself doing a masters in business administration, I also see myself doing something around interior design. Does this mean I stop my career as a pharmacist? NO. The first thought that comes in my mind is I cannot have come this far to just put my degree in pharmacy in the dustbin (a whole five years), but really that is not the actual thought. I enjoy doing the science if I can call it that, I enjoy learning the pharmacokinetics and dynamics around the drugs, I enjoy learning about dose formulation and the process around the manufacture of drugs, and it is so mindblowing. All these things I want to be I hope to be one day, I hope to be able to make people know they can be all they want to be in life. I hope I get to show other pharmacists that even as a pharmacist they can be many other things they wished they could be as they grew up or at whatever level they are in, even if it is being a good partner amidst the busy schedule, or a wife, a husband or even a parent. I believe we can all be absolutely everything we want to be. Am I sure I will not change my mind about industrial pharmacy? The answer is no, cause I am evolving every day and I’m learning great things about myself that will probably lead me to different paths. So all I can do is fantasize of how great a person I can be in the industrial pharmacy sector as I remain open on the different possibilities that are in life.
Ravinder is a Clinical Pharmacist Intern (as of 2020) based in Kenya.
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Favourite quote: True wisdom exists in knowing you know nothing-Socrates
My love for pharmacy started when I was quite young .Our church used to organize free medical camps atleast twice a year in rural villages in Kenya. Back then I was still in high school and I used to volunteer in such programmes . I was fascinated by how pharmacist handled patients and once in awhile I could be allowed into the dispensing areas.
After several years of taking part in the camps I really fell in love with the pharmacy profession and it quickly became my dream
Having an elder sister who is a physician and my mum being a nurse really encouraged me to pursue a career In medical field. My pharmacy journey started at a diploma level here in Kenya, graduated and worked for a year before I joined a pharmacy school in South India and graduated early last year .I am currently in my intern year here in Kenya.
Currently, I am involved in a few rural research programmes and outreach programmes during my free time.
I really enjoy every aspect of being a pharmacist and I can not trade it for anything ,and above all I thank God for giving me this chance to serve others I can not take it for granted!!!