The new building’s construction is being financed by the Fondation Pierre Fabre and the Fondation Mérieux, in partnership with Madagascar’s Ministry of Public Health and the University of Antananarivo’s Faculty of Medicine.
This funding is the continuation of the project’s initial phase focused on the development and implementation of a postgraduate pharmacy programme that has been in progress since 2005 with the support of the Grenoble-Alpes University Faculty of Pharmacy, the Grenoble-Alpes University teaching hospital and, more recently, the Monastir Faculty of Pharmacy. The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region and the French Embassy’s Cultural Initiatives and Cooperation department also supported development of this university curriculum.
The foundation-stone ceremony was attended by important personalities such as Professor Harinirina Yoël Honora Rantomalala, Minister of Public Health, Marie-Monique Rasoazananera, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Professor Panja Ramanoelina, President of the University of Antananarivo, Pierre-Yves Revol, President of the Fondation Pierre Fabre, Professor Luc Samison, Director of Madagascar’s Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Diseases and Dean of the Antananarivo Faculty of Medicine, Professor Guy Raoelison, Head of the Pharmacy Department, Luciana Rakotoarisoa, Madagascar Manager of the Fondation Mérieux, as well as several Madagascar university authorities.
Working to increase the number of pharmacists in Madagascar
Construction of the future Faculty of Pharmacy is the continuation of an initiative begun in 2005 to create a pharmaceutical studies curriculum in Madagascar, and both have the same objective: to address the shortage of pharmacists in Madagascar, where there are only 250 such professionals for nearly 17 million inhabitants. As pharmacists are essential links in the healthcare chain, this dearth of professionals is of grave concern: pharmacists have direct contact with patients and play a major local referral and educational role with respect to both treatment access and educating patients on proper medication use.
Creating a Doctor of Pharmacy Diplôme d’Etat
The first phase of this project involved creating a Pharmacy Department at the University of Antananarivo’s Faculty of Medicine so as to award a Doctor of Pharmacy Diplôme d’Etat after a six-year course of study. The department has registered 20 new students each year since 2006, with the first class graduating in 2011. All told, the department has trained nearly 80 pharmacists, almost half of whom are now working in the public sector. In 2018, the seventh class of students began the curriculum.
Creating a Faculty of Pharmacy
Creating an autonomous Faculty of Pharmacy with its own infrastructures will make it possible to sustain this university curriculum and gradually increase the number of students. It is essential to providing the country with the skills needed to deliver and monitor drug treatment, especially in the hospital sector and poorer districts.
The future Faculty of Pharmacy building
The future Faculty of Pharmacy will span a surface area of about 700 m², composed of five classrooms and three fully equipped lab rooms, as well as office space and storage. It is expected to accommodate 40 to 50 students per graduating class by the start of the school year in 2021.
The committed partners supporting this public health project
University of Antananarivo
The Pharmacy Department administration is handled by the Faculty of Medicine, while the educational supervision is the responsibility of the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Sciences. The University of Antananarivo provides the department with administrative and technical support, Malagasy teaching staff – paid by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research –, premises and childcare services, and payment of operating costs and expenses related to organising examinations and competitions. For more information: www.facmedtananarive.org
Fondation Pierre Fabre
The Fondation Pierre Fabre is co-financing the future Faculty of Pharmacy and has contributed to development of the university curriculum offered through the Pharmacy Department, development of the teaching programme and creation of a specialised team of educators. It is funding the purchase of scientific equipment, helping organise educational support and contributing to the funds needed to finance scholarships for Malagasy students. For more information: www.fondationpierrefabre.org
The Fondation Mérieux has provided strategic, academic and financial support in the pharmacy department’s development and structuring: the purchase of teaching-related office equipment and materials, support for creation and implementation of laboratory class modules, financing for international mobility projects related to educator training, etc. It is helping finance the future Faculty of Pharmacy. For more information: www.fondation-merieux.org
Grenoble-Alpes University and Grenoble-Alpes University teaching hospital
The Grenoble-Alpes University Faculty of Pharmacy supported the construction and consolidation of the pharmaceutical curriculum: assessing academic needs and skills, creating an annual pedagogical seminar, transferring all disciplines to Malagasy teachers, training the educators and establishing mobility dossiers to help young Malagasy pharmacists acquire complementary skills, etc. Today, its support continues as it helps provide expertise based on the needs identified by the Malagasy team. For more information: www.univ-grenoble-alpes.fr
The Monastir Faculty of Pharmacy
The Monastir Faculty of Pharmacy is overseeing the galenic pharmacy courses and training the Malagasy professors who will be responsible for teaching this discipline. Many missions have already been completed and a doctorate programme is now being created. The Monastir Faculty of Pharmacy is contributing to the building project as part of a South-South cooperation. For more information: www.fphm.rnu.tn