New Zealand Association of Pharmacy Students - Otago
(NZAPS-O, New Zealand)
The New Zealand Association of Pharmacy Students - Otago (NZAPS-O) is a voluntary student organisation with over 200 members that represents New Zealand's National School of Pharmacy, located in the student city of Dunedin. Membership is open to all students, including those who have graduated and are completing their internship year.
The association consists of ten executive members who work closely together to organise social events, educational opportunities, sports competitions, student exchanges and promoting pharmacy and public health campaigns.
The Teddy Bear Hospital
The Teddy Bear Hospital is a project organised alongside OUMSA (Otago University Medical Students Association) and other student associations from other health professional programmes. The activity combines medical students, pharmacy students, dentistry students, physiotherapy students, radiation therapy students and nursing students to try and provide kid-friendly activities and to encourage children to not be afraid of healthcare professionals. As Pharmacy students, we 'dispensed' fresh fruit to children with prescriptions that were provided by medicine and/or dentistry students.
Pharmacy Awareness Week
During Pharmacy Awareness Week, NZAPS-O ran a Public Health Campaign in Dunedin, New Zealand where three NZAPS-O executive members along with some of the Otago School of Pharmacy staff ran free blood glucose and blood pressure testing for members of the public. The aim of this campaign was to reach out to the public about the importance of getting regular blood pressure checks and blood glucose tests as a part of personal healthcare vigilance. We managed to reach at least 50 members of the public over the course of the day and checked their blood pressure and blood glucose as well as providing them with information about getting regular checks and information about what pharmacists are now able to offer in the community setting.
Mental Health Awareness Campaign
This year, alongside ISMAFARSI, Indonesia and our other local pharmacy student organisation APSA (Auckland Pharmacy Students Association), NZAPS-O participated in our first-ever APRO Country Campaign. This focused on spreading awareness of the importance of mental health and the consequences of not helping those who need it. We reached out to our target audience through the use of Facebook frames which students would post with a profile picture along with a small text about mental health in New Zealand and encouraging others to do the same. This campaign reached around 350 individuals which is a fantastic achievement for our first ever APRO Country Campaign.
Every year NZAPS-O holds an education seminar for the students of the Otago School of Pharmacy. The purpose of this is to give students the opportunity to hear from and be inspired by pharmacists about their roles in the pharmacy field, how they got to where they are today, their overall showing students the different roles and opportunities that fall within the field of pharmacy. This year we had 3 different speakers for the seminar talking about various aspects of pharmacy such as community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy and pharmacy research. Around 70 students attended the event and all gained more of an insight into the opportunities in the pharmacy profession, some even talking to the guest speakers after the event.