Wahidullah Noori, Pharmacy Administration Graduate Student
Wahidullah Noori, a Fulbright scholar from Afghanistan, is pursuing a master’s degree in pharmacy administration at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy. Noori, who previously practiced pharmacy for the World Health Organization, is using his time at the pharmacy school to learn how to support his native country.
The Dose interviewed him about his experience at the University of Mississippi so far.
- Can you tell us about your experience in the Fulbright program?
The Fulbright Scholar Program has always been a wonderful program for international students outside the United States, but also for the Americans who are going to other countries for cultural exchange and sharing experiences.
My experience has been wonderful so far. I have been able to improve my academics in the field of pharmacy, and have also learned about different aspects of life from the people of the United States. I have had the opportunity to travel to other states within the U.S. and share my personal and my country’s stories with different people. It has been an honor to hear from them about their culture and their way of living life in a developed country.
- What do you hope to accomplish by participating in this program?
Today, my country (Afghanistan) is suffering from different complications in every field, where decades of war have destroyed our general public health systems, security and economics through the destruction of infrastructure and systems coupled with depletion of human resources. My major accomplishment will not only be my degree in pharmacy administration, but also to learn skills of how to make systems effective when they are not.
- Can you tell me a little about your home country and where you grew up?
I am an Afghan and belong to Afghanistan, but like many other Afghans my family had to live in Pakistan soon after the war started in 1979, so I grew up and received a Pharm.D. in Pakistan. It wasn’t easy to overcome all the challenges. My family and I had to face many difficulties for education and living, but I kept trying and I had a goal to accomplish and here I am towards achieving my goal.
- What is your impression of the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy? When did you first arrive here?
It has been a phenomenal experience to be at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy. The University of Mississippi has one of the best schools of pharmacy in the United States, and I have learned a lot and am looking forward to learning more from the wonderful faculty. The school is well equipped with knowledge and expertise. Although, three other U.S. universities accepted my application, I chose the University of Mississippi because of its wonderful pharmacy administration department. I just completed my first semester.
- What have you learned so far in the pharmacy administration department? Are you working on any interesting projects?
Before coming here, I was working with the World Health Organization as a pharmacist, so my major interest is how I can utilize my knowledge of pharmacy in a bigger role for a country like Afghanistan through areas such as policy, pharmacoeconomics and pharmacoepidemiology. I’ve learned a lot about these areas and will learn more as I progress ahead in my academics.
Hopefully, I will be able to utilize all this knowledge and expertise for my country to make its pharmaceutical system effective for the people of Afghanistan. As this was my first semester, I had to complete a few required courses. I will start working on my thesis proposal this spring 2016, which will be on medication adherence.
- What are your goals after you leave the University of Mississippi?
My short-term goal after finishing my degree is to join the Ministry of Public Health’s General Directorate of Pharmaceutical Affairs as director of pharmaceutical affairs in Afghanistan. Once achieved, I will start working on my long-term goal to make the pharmaceutical system of Afghanistan better, where even today people are dying and suffering, not because they don’t have medication, but due to the counterfeit and substandard medication, increased irrational drug use, and increased antibiotic use, which is leading to antibiotic resistance. To overcome these challenges and serve the people of Afghanistan are my long-term goals.