Evaluation of a service-learning elective as an approach to enhancing the pharmacist’s role in health promotion in South Africa

Sunitha Chandrasekhar Srinivas, Wendy W Wrench


Background. A service-learning (SL) elective offered to final-year pharmacy students was introduced in 2007. The elective demonstrated a holistic approach to creating opportunities for future pharmacists to understand the current needs and future challenges of the burden of disease in developing countries such as South Africa and to foresee their key roles in health promotion.

Methods. The 2007 Sasol National Festival of Science and Technology (SciFest) was chosen as the ideal platform to implement this elective. Evaluation of the elective was carried out in association with the Academic Development Centre using a web-based software tool known as the ADC evaluation assistant (ADCEA). The ADCEA consisted of a ‘question bank’ from which the course facilitators selected nine ranked closed questions as well as two open-ended questions.

Results. SciFest participation, in the course of the service-learning elective, was acknowledged by students to have prepared them as responsible citizens to undertake health promotion in the public sector healthcare system.

Conclusion. Students’ experiences of the learning opportunities provided in the SciFest elective highlight the strengths of this SL programme. The SL elective provided a unique and relevant opportunity to address the health promotion needs of the South African community and potentially enhance human capacity to deliver health promotion in South Africa.

Authors' affiliations

Sunitha Chandrasekhar Srinivas, Faculty of Pharmacy, Rhodes University,

Wendy W Wrench, Faculty of Pharmacy, Rhodes University

Full Text



Service learning; South Africa; Critical cross field outcomes; reflection; pharmacy

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2012;4(2):107-111. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.108

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-04-09
Date published: 2012-12-06

Article Views

Abstract views: 10887
Full text views: 12195

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here