At the beginning of this year I told some of my friends that Zimbabwe was on the bucket list for the year. June, 2015 was when I first learned about the 62nd International Pharmaceutical Students Federation (IPSF) World Congress (WC) that was held from 29th July to 08th August 2016 in Harare, Zimbabwe from one of the WhatsApp Groups where I belong. The poster of the congress that was shared in the group showed a registration fee of 400 Euros. My first reaction? Your guess is right! “How the hell am I going to raise that amount of money, let alone air ticket fees which are almost twice as much?”
But after attending my first ever IPSF event in Kigali, Rwanda in July 2015; 4th IPSF African Pharmaceutical Symposium (AfPS), I got highly motivated to participate in the WC. The thing with IPSF events is that after attending for the first time, you always want to attend one after that and eventually, you just get addicted.
Staying optimistic though was a daunting task. I wasn’t certain I would raise the money. I didn’t know where to look for it. I didn’t even have a passport. First thing I did was to get a passport.
As it would happen, IPSF Development Fund (DF) in January 2016 made a call for the World Congress Grant which I successfully applied for. The DF thus paid for my registration fee. The next hurdle was the air ticket which thinned my hopes so much. . At some point I even started telling my friends that I won’t be able to travel; little did I know that God had a miracle in store for me. Two weeks to the WC, I got one of the best news of this year so far; Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda (PSU) approved my request to pay for my flight. Yeeeiii!!!
Participating in congress has been a lifetime experience for me. From the education and scientific symposia, politics in the General Assembly, workshops and to the amazing friends from all corners of the world that I met, I will live to treasure the experience for the rest of my life.
|Evidence that I was there?|
|I made a presentation on Uganda Pharmaceutical Students Association (UPSA) which was accepted as a member of the federation.|
|I also did a poster presentation of our final year project.|
|I thought I would be the only Ugandan at the congress, but I met this fellow countryman who school in UK. Meet my new friend Isaac Gidudu from Mbale.|
In a special way, I’d like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the IPSF DF and PSU for making my dream to participate in the congress a reality. I hope that a pharmacy student in Uganda can get inspired and perhaps gets more motivated than I was to participate in international events of such nature and that PSU and other corporate organizations continue to support students on such levels.
Viva la pharmacie!!