So pleased to finally be opening my own pharmacy!
After a 2-year journey I’m finally here! The journey started with me thinking about doing a research project into how to offer more pharmacy support in the community to people living with HIV, unfortunately all my attempts to source funding for this were met with a brick wall. As I was also going through a career transition period at that time, one of my professional bodies put me in touch with a ‘Pharmacist Life Coach’.
I must admit, I never really bought into the whole life coaching thing, but this was the best thing that could have happened to me as it helped me to get a firmer sense of direction and our sessions ended with me having a light bulb moment where I decided to open a pharmacy which specialised in rendering pharmacy related services with associated medicines and supplements to patients living with HIV whilst keeping the doors open to all that might benefit from our services.
As there wasn’t a course that could teach me what I needed to know for what I wanted to do. I’ve had to rely on networking and self- directed learning around herbs and supplements in particular. I did a 6- month herbal course which was more like a mentoring course as it involved a lot of one on one sessions with an experienced practitioner who has a strong family history rooted in Native American Herbal Medicine. This ended with me gaining a certificate and ‘Herbal Medicine Consultant’ title!
I’ve also had to network with other pharmacists abroad and joined an international alliance to learn about how other pharmacists in other specialties have managed to include the use of herbs and supplements in their practices as pharmacists. Although none were involved in HIV, it gave me a useful insight with tips on how to approach things and set up a novel pharmacy service.
There have been a lot of challenges along the way in terms of getting necessary approvals and licenses as well as getting the right suppliers. Some of which took a lot longer than I anticipated.
I definitely didn’t plan to open in the midst of the COVID-19 health storm, but am hoping there will be a silver lining to the cloud as I do believe COVID-19 should be a wakeup call to people to play more attention to their health and realise how important preventative health is, especially if you’ve already got a chronic disease. Hopefully the powers that be will also recognise this and allocate more funds towards prevention.
In the build up to us going live later this month, I will be releasing a series of COVID-19 blogs to help bring some clarity to the pandemic which I hope will help people put things into perspective and maximise their health regardless of whether or not they get the disease.
With a range of services on offer with introductory discounts and gifts, be sure to check out our website when we go live later this month at: www.wesiepharmacy.com.
PS: We also hope that this pharmacy will help to sustain our efforts to create healthier communities through WESIE– the Women Elite Sports Empowerment Initiative set up to use sports as a health and social empowerment tool.