For the Public

SA Pharmacy Council raises awareness of immunisation benefits during National Pharmacy Month - September 2017

The pharmacy profession’s annual awareness drive has been elevated to new heights this year, and Council proudly announces the extension of National Pharmacy Week to a full month. Commencing this year, September will be wholly devoted to pharmacy and celebrated as National Pharmacy Month. Together, the pharmacist and consumer can achieve the optimum pharmaceutical care results!

The South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC), together with the National Department of Health and the Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa will embark on a determined campaign to promote immunisation during National Pharmacy Month in September. Under this year’s theme, Don’t wait – vaccinate, pharmacists across the country will be advocating immunisations and their ability to prevent the spread of infectious, and sometime deadly, diseases.

President of the SAPC, Professor Mano Chetty, in a recent interview stated: “As pharmacists and healthcare professionals in the 21st century, we are extremely fortunate to have ready access to powerful ‘ammunition’ that can be used to prevent many deadly infectious diseases. In keeping with the theme Don’t wait – vaccinate, the pharmacy profession will focus on educating the country on the optimal use of available vaccines for the benefit of families and communities.”

How the first vaccine was developed

Medical science has progressed significantly since the smallpox vaccine was first ‘tested’ in 1796. Prior to the introduction of the smallpox vaccine, two in three people who contracted smallpox died, and those who survived were severely scarred and disfigured. Edward Jenner, an English country doctor, was interested in reports that local milkmaids who had been infected with cowpox (an infection from cows that caused blisters and fevers without causing the harmful effects of smallpox) did not catch smallpox. In May 1796 Jenner decided to perform an experiment to test his theory that the cowpox provided protection against smallpox. His subject was an 8-year-old boy named James Phepps.

Jenner removed fluid from the blisters of a milkmaid who had cowpox and scratched it into the skin of James. A small blister appeared at the site but James did not experience cowpox. About six weeks later Jenner introduced the smallpox organism into James. James did not develop smallpox, indicating to Jenner that the cowpox vaccine had prevented the smallpox disease.

Although such a ‘clinical trial’ would not be permitted today, Edward Jenner’s discovery marked a turning point in the prevention of infectious diseases. The name vaccine originates from the Latin word vacca, which means cow, a fitting name given that the first vaccine originated from a cow. In the 19th and 20th centuries scientists, following Jenner’s model, developed new vaccines to fight numerous other deadly diseases such as whooping cough, measles, polio, tetanus, yellow fever, typhus, and hepatitis B, among many others. With persistent vaccinations, smallpox infections were declared extinct globally by 1980.

Routine National Immunisation Programmes

National health departments worldwide have implemented routine vaccination programmes for specific diseases such as measles, poliomyelitis, neonatal tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, tuberculosis, pneumococcal disease and rotavirus. As expected, the range of essential vaccines varies with each country.

The National Department of Health in South Africa has outlined the goals, objectives and other details of the national immunisation programmes in the Vaccinators Manual. The goals relating to the eradication of diseases such as measles, polio and neonatal tetanus are achievable, provided that all healthcare workers contribute towards the goals. Professor Chetty firmly believes that pharmacists have an important role to play in the national programmes aimed at promoting the use of vaccines. During National Pharmacy Month the profession will aim to raise awareness on the benefits of immunisation, when booster doses of vaccines should be administered, and who should be vaccinated against which diseases. Vaccines reduce the risk of infection by working with the body's natural defences to help it safely develop immunity to disease.

Serious reactions to immunisation are rare, but some people may experience mild side effects such as pain, swelling and redness at the injection site. These reactions usually resolve quickly.

“Our South African pharmacists are professionally trained and ideally placed to offer advice on travel, seasonal and routine immunisations, and specialised vaccinations. Doctors too, benefit greatly from the knowledge our pharmacists have of the latest clinical trials and drug developments,” said Professor Chetty.

Travel Immunisation

Travellers to other regions in Africa or abroad are legally required to be immunised against certain diseases. The pharmacist is able to advise on which vaccines to have and what clinics in the area of travel offer a vaccination service. Vaccination can prevent an exciting holiday in a foreign country from turning into the nightmare of contracting a deadly disease such as yellow fever, typhoid fever, tick borne encephalitis , to name a few.

Seasonal Immunisation

Immunisation against an infection such as Haemophilus influenzae type B has been shown to prevent morbidity and mortality associated with the infection, especially in vulnerable populations such as the aged and very young children.

Other specialised vaccinations

The human papilloma virus vaccine, which protects against cervical cancer, is usually given to girls between 12 and 13 years of age, with a second dose 6–24 months later. A vaccination against shingles, the adult form of smallpox, is recommended for older patients. The vaccination that offers protection against meningococcal disease is important in some countries.

The future

According to the World Health Organisation, immunisation prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases, including cervical cancer. Globally, immunisation prevents between two and three million deaths annually.

With the large number of vaccines currently available, opportunities exist to eradicate other deadly diseases. “As citizens of the African continent, we would consider it a great scientific breakthrough if vaccines against diseases such as HIV and malaria were developed and introduced for routine use,” said Professor Chetty. “While scientists are hopeful, this dream of a routine vaccination against these diseases, though, is still a few years away from being realised.”

Immunisation is a simple and effective way of protecting yourself, your family and those around you. Visit your pharmacist for detailed information on how to keep your family and your community safe.

Don’t Wait – Vaccinate!

*National Pharmacy Month supersedes National Pharmacy Week and will be celebrated annually in September from 2017 onwards.

Read more on:  and  ends


Amos Masango (Registrar/CEO)
Douglas Defty (Vice-President)
Ms Nocawe Thipa (Treasurer)

For more information or to set up a media interview please contact Elmari Venter: Cell no: 0822245604; E-mail: or Neo Ramokoka: Cell no: 0734052671; E-mail: 

Enjoy a super healthy pharmacy month



Monday, 1 September

For immediate release

Antibiotic resistance threatens lives

Worldwide, many microorganisms no longer respond to antibiotic therapy. There are therefore serious health risks for patients, including those suffering from common conditions that have been treated with antibiotics for many years.
v The World Health Organisation has identified antibiotic resistance as a serious threat to public health.1 In South Africa, we have many examples of microbes that have become resistant to antibiotics, through a number of mechanisms. One of the most alarming examples is that of tuberculosis, where many patients have infections that no longer respond to first-line treatment, and sometimes not to second-line treatment. “Unfortunately, drug-resistant TB is not the only example,” says Mr Douglas Defty, Vice-president of the South African Pharmacy Council. “Other infections, such as pneumonia and urinary tract infections, are also becoming a source of concern because commonly used antibiotics no longer work.”

Towards quality care together – Use antibiotics wisely
The appropriate use of antibiotics is the theme of Pharmacy Week 2014, which takes place during the first week of September.

According to Defty, one of the reasons for the rise in antibiotic resistance is that, in the past, they were widely used even for viral infections such as colds and flu. Healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, are very aware of the importance of using the correct antibiotic to treat infections, and consumers need to understand that their doctor will only give them an antibiotic if it is in fact needed.

Consumers can play an important role in saving antibiotics for when they are really needed by taking a number of steps to prevent infection. Good hygiene practices can help to protect people. This includes washing one’s hands frequently and thoroughly, as well as covering one’s nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. In addition, immunisation is important. Vaccines are available to prevent pneumococcal disease, for example, and in the flu season, the influenza vaccine provides some measure of protection against particular strains of flu virus.

“Ask your pharmacist for advice on antibiotic use,” concludes Defty. “It may help us to make sure that antibiotics are still effective when we really need them.

It is important to stress to consumers that colds and flu are viral infections that are usually self-limiting. Antibiotics will only be useful if there is a secondary bacterial infection. The management of colds and flu begins with preventing infection – consumers need to be reminded of the importance of good hygiene practices such as hand washing and covering one’s mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

In most cases, symptomatic relief with Schedule 0, 1 or 2 medicines are all that is needed to help the consumer control their symptoms. Obviously, healthcare professionals will assess when a patient does in fact need an antibiotic.

Consumers need to be informed of the problems that the world faces because of microbial resistance to antibiotics. It is critically important that steps should be taken to limit the development of resistance – it may end up literally being a matter of life or death when an effective antibiotic is needed. By educating consumers on appropriate antibiotic use, pharmacists and pharmacist’s assistants can help save antibiotics for when they are really needed.

As the statutory body charged with regulating the profession, the South African Pharmacy Council is extremely aware of the pressures under which pharmacy professionals work. The pharmacist must not only take responsibility for compliance with the law but must also make sure that consumers receive the full benefit of the medicines prescribed for them. Pharmacy Week is an opportunity for Council, together with its collaborative partners, to help pharmacists educate consumers on how to get the best value from their medicines and how to take care of their health.

During Pharmacy Week (1 – 8 September 2014) material in terms of this topic can be downloaded in nine official languages from

Remember your pharmacist cares about your health and wellness, is committed to maintaining the highest professional standards in the delivery of pharmaceutical care to you and can assist you to use antibiotics responsibly! Ends Pharmacy Week material was developed by the Council and its partners – the National Department of Health, Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS), South African Pharmacy Council, and Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa.

1. Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance. 1. Anti-infective agents - classification. 2. Anti-infective agents - adverse effects. 3. Drug resistance, microbial - drug effects. 4. Risk management. 5. Humans. World Health Organization. ISBN 978 92 4 156474 8 (NLM classification: QV 250) April 2014


Douglas Defty (Vice-President)
Vincent Tlala (Chief Operating Officer)

For more information or to set up a media interview please contact Elmari Venter on 0780954671 or Moloko Masenya 0608233452

ISSUED BY: The South African Pharmacy Council in the interest of Sustainable quality pharmaceutical services for all

Moloko Masenya
Communication Practitioner
Cell: 0608233452
Tel: 0123198539

Posters and flyers are available in nine official languages. This message will be carried, printed and distributed nationwide. Artwork are also available for downloading on . Pharmacy Week is a collaborative activity between Follow the links below to download the artwork of your choice:

Click here to download the High Resolution Pharmacy week flyer 1 (Tswana, Zulu, English, sesotho & Xhosa)
Click here to download the High Resolution Pharmacy week flyer 1(Xitsonga, Sepedi, Venda, Afrikaans & English)
Click here to download the Pharmacy Week Poster (English)
Click here to download the Pharmacy Week Poster (Afrikaans)
Click here to download the Pharmacy Week Poster (Zulu)
Click here to download the Pharmacy Week Poster (Sepedi)
Click here to download the Pharmacy Week Poster (Sesotho)
Click here to download the Pharmacy Week Poster (Tswana)
Click here to download the Pharmacy Week Poster (Venda)
Click here to download the Pharmacy Week Poster (Xhosa)
Click here to download the Pharmacy Week Poster (Tsonga)


Dr Manoranjenni Chetty
Newly elected president of the South African Pharmacy Council
The new President of the South African Pharmacy Council for the term up to 2018, Dr Manoranjenni Chetty was elected by Council on 13 February 2014 at its inaugural meeting held in the South African Pharmacy Council offices in Belvedere Street, Pretoria, South Africa.

Dr Chetty said that there will be an increased focus of Council on the protection of the interests of the South African public. Interaction between the public and the pharmacy profession will be promoted through various avenues such as the Council website, where any member of the public can search to confirm registration of a pharmacy professional or pharmaceutical organisation. Furthermore each member of the South African public can lodge a complaint against any perceived poor pharmaceutical service experience or comment on a positive pharmacy experience.

Dr Chetty further remarked that the South African Pharmacy Council is committed to supporting pharmacy professionals in providing sustainable quality pharmaceutical services together with optimum pharmaceutical service delivery to the public. Council maintains that the principle of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is an ethical obligation of pharmacy professionals whether they are being monitored or not.

In future, Council will also be working closely with the other statutory councils to address issues related to managed health care in the best interest of the public. Dr Chetty is confident that through these measures, Council will be able to live up to its vision of protecting the public by promoting the provision of sustainable quality pharmaceutical services.

Dr Chetty made a valuable contribution towards the transformation of Council by serving as a Councilor during the Interim Pharmacy Council of South Africa.

After obtaining a BPharm degree from the former University of Durban-Westville she worked as a hospital pharmacist in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Dr Chetty obtained subsequent qualifications that include a MSc (Pharmacology) from Rhodes University, a PhD from the former University of Durban-Westville and a MEd (Higher Education) from the University of Sydney. Mano is registered in the Council specialist register as a clinical pharmacokineticist. She also served as a lecturer/senior lecturer at UKZN and WITS, and as a Manager at Noristan Pharmaceuticals before she joined TUT as Professor and Head of School of Pharmacy. Following six years on the academic staff at the University of Sydney, Mano joined Simcyp Ltd (Sheffield-based research company) as Principal Scientist (current employment). She held appointments as Honorary Professor at UKZN and University of Technology Sydney (2011–2015).

Dr Chetty’s zealous career philosophy to contribute to the improvement of pharmaceutical sciences and services locally and globally through learning, teaching, discovery and innovation underscores the humbleness of this remarkable leader in Pharmacy.

To serve alongside Dr Chetty as Vice-President, Council elected Mr Douglas Defty. Douglas is actively involved in private institutional pharmacies with Mediclinic Southern Africa and has served as an elected councillor in the previous SA Pharmacy Council (2009 – 2013) as a member of both the Practice and Health Committees, and as an alternative member of the Committee for Informal Inquiries. Graduating from Rhodes University in 1983 he has served the profession on various bodies. Although Douglas’s focus is on the provision of high standards of pharmaceutical care in both public and private institutional pharmacies, he remains committed to address the concerns of all sectors and individuals in pharmacy, to the benefit of the public and profession as a whole. He says that: “It is only by collaborative efforts that we will be able to achieve the desired delivery of a pharmaceutical service to the nation.”

Dear Responsible Pharmacist


The South African Pharmacy Council has embarked on a Patient Education & Information Campaign to inform patients of their rights in terms of the National Patient Rights Charter, their responsibilities and to encourage the public to consult with pharmacists.

The purpose of this campaign is to convey the message to the patient/public informing them that they have a right to comment on the quality of the pharmaceutical service they receive whether good or bad, and also to educate them about their responsibilities in a pharmacy.

This information campaign will focus on the quality (the care and service every patient is entitled to receive from their pharmacist) and teamwork (between a pharmacist and his/her patient).

As from 5 November 2012 the SAPC is sending out two A2 Posters, i.e. “Patient responsibility in a pharmacy” and “Patient rights in a pharmacy” to every Community and Public/Private Institutional Pharmacy in South Africa. An A2 poster is the minimum size required to be displayed in a pharmacy. Please note that it is mandatory for all pharmacies to conspicuously (visibly) display these posters at the dispensary where all patients can read, while waiting to be attended too.

The artwork of the posters can also be downloaded from for in-house printing purposes in the following sizes:
  1. A1 Posters
  2. A2 Posters
  3. A5 Leaflets

Any further queries can be addressed to 

The SA Pharmacy Council would like to take this opportunity to express its gratitude and appreciation to the mainstream of community and public/private institutional pharmacists who practise their profession in an ethical and competent manner.

Council acknowledges and applauds the invaluable role pharmacists play in taking care of the wellbeing of the public. We urge pharmacists to continue offering their skills and knowledge to all patients in South Africa.

Your compliance in this matter is appreciated


Title Option Type
SAPC concerned about student protests at institutions of higher learningClick here to view or download the document
Nomination Form_2016 National Pioneer Pharmacy AwardsClick here to view or download the document
SAPC invitation to prospective Service Providers/VendorsClick here to view or download the document
SAPC Patient Information CampaignClick here to view or download the document
A1 Posters _Patient Rights and ResponsibilitiesClick here to view or download the document
A2 Posters_Patient rights and responsibilitiesClick here to view or download the document
A5 Leaflets_Patient rights and responsibilitiesClick here to view or download the document