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ITM PHARMA course 2023

A successful continued collaboration with the University of the Western Cape!

The third ITM course Pharmaceutical policies in health systems (PHARMA) was organised from 30 May until 16 June 2023. This expert short course brings together health professionals and others involved in pharmaceutical policy, at national, regional or international level, with the aim of enhancing their understanding of the components of the pharmaceutical system, and how these components fit together within the broader health system framework.

The course is chaired by Dr Raffaella Ravinetto and supported by Dr Saleh Aljadeeah of the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, and supported by Dr Hazel Bradley and Dr Renier Coetzee of the University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa, a longstanding partner of ITM. The course facilitators are experts in their fields and drawn from low, middle, and high-income countries, as well as international organisations like WHO.

UWC Associate Professor Renier Coetzee was one of the invited lecturers, facilitators and coaches in the 2023 edition of the course. His participation in the PHARMA course was (partially) supported by the Alliance for Education in Tropical Medicine and International Public Health, facilitating the involvement of staff from partner institutions and ITM alumni in ITM courses.

As a trained clinical pharmacist and invited lecturer, Renier presented a session on antibiotic use and standard treatment guidelines, specifically drawing on the experiences in South Africa as a member of the Essential Medicines List and Standard Treatment Guidelines, as well as on his work within antimicrobial stewardship in the public health care sector. Besides lecturing, he cofacilitated the course by contributing to discussions and providing local context. Furthermore, he coached students for the final assignment and assessed assignment presentations at the course seminar.

In addition to the teaching and coaching focus of the PHARMA course, this staff mobility initiative enabled Renier to identify areas to enhance and update the Pharmaceutical Policy and Management, an elective module organised by the School of Public Health (UWC) and to discuss research project ideas with ITM staff.

Renier is a key actor in the institutional partnership between ITM and UWC, in which we are building a solid collaboration in educational activities both in Belgium and South Africa, and planning joint student MPH and PhD supervision, as well as research projects in pharmaceutical public health.

"The coming together of experts in the field of pharmaceutical public health and the combination of participants from various parts of the world have proven to be the best environment for learning. I was struck with the breath of knowledge being shared in a short space of time, and how each participant was able to contextualise it for their own country.  I am encouraged and motivated to continue to contribute to the development and expanding of pharmaceutical public health in South Africa and the continent of Africa”. 

Dr Renier Coetzee
UWC Associate Professor

Research themes


Pharmaceutical Public Health

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