A pharmacist is basically a legal drug dealer who hooks you up with the good good when you go to the hospital. Don’t argue with us kuli load shedding you should be feeling shy. Anyways, we run into Abigail Shikabeta a Pharmacist that slays and she schooled us on pharmacy and a little of this and that.
Q1. With various professions in the medical field, why did you choose pharmacy?
– To be honest, Pharmacy was not my first choice to major in when I was enrolled in the School of Natural Sciences at The University of Zambia for my pre-med. But when I found myself doing Pharmacy I started wondering why I did not choose it as my first choice back then. I guess it was because I knew very little about pharmacy, especially at a degree level. It combined my interests in Biology, Chemistry and other life sciences with my desire to acquire advanced scientific knowledge while contributing to the well-being of society. The further I went in my studies the more I realized how much of it I loved, it was an unfolding experience.
Q2. How has understanding medicine and other related things in your profession affected you; the temptation to self medicate or the paranoia of bacteria on things you touch.
– Wow… Understanding medicine and knowing what medicine to use to alter certain normal (physiological) or abnormal (pathological) process has been the most exciting part of my training! It has actually affected me both positively and negatively.
• I have had instances that led me to self-medicate a few times without even consulting a physician because I was sure of what was wrong with me.
• When I am experiencing some abnormality in my body, I do not immediately rush to medication all the time but instead, try out a more active and healthy lifestyle because I understand that a lot of negative conditions are due to lifestyle.
• It has also given me sleepless nights from the paranoia of having bacterial infection when I get in contact with something I believe could be contaminated; on a bus, on an elevator or at a mall or when I’m near a person with a condition I believe could be contagious.
• But most importantly it has given me the ability to help other people by giving sound and competent advice on their conditions, medication and how they can live more healthy lives.
Q3. Why would you recommend studying pharmacy compared to other medical fields?
– I would recommend studying pharmacy because it is one of the most crucial professions which is responsible for all affairs of medicines and medicines are one of the core elements of the health care system of any country. It would be great to have as many people studying pharmacy as possible so that we ensure the proper delivery of medicine to our patients. It is also an ever-evolving profession with opportunities constantly opening up in hospitals, retail, supply chain management, manufacturing and drug-design both locally and internationally.
Q4. Drug abuse has been a hot issue world over for a while now, what are the common effects of doing so.
– Drug abuse has so many negative effects, I cannot emphasize this enough. Some of which are permanent. Here are some common ones;
• It can lead to physical and psychological dependence or addiction
• It can lead to psychosis
• Domestic violence
• Personal accidents (due to impairment of an individual’s ability to make sound decisions)
• Road traffic accidents
• It can weaken the immune system, putting one at a higher risk of infection
• Significant liver and lung damage
• In pregnant women, it can lead to birth defects
• It can affect a person’s ability to learn, their memory and their decision making
• It can lead to death
• It has a negative impact of the financial aspect of an individual and hence their society and consequently on the country as a whole
Q5. Being one of Zambia’s young and ambitious pharmacists what advice would you give to the 15-year-old you?
– My advice to any young girl is to be focused, keep your eyes on the goal and set your priorities right.
• Put god before everything and let Him lead you
• Be patient with life and understand that everything comes at different stages
• Find what you love and be passionate about it
• Be enthusiastic because the world is so diverse and you may be the next person to find the cure of a disease that has been thought to be incurable
• Don’t think outside the box because there shouldn’t even be a box in the first place.
Dont hesitate to share to inspire someone