Education for empowerment: Online training in Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacometrics in French

In a global landscape where language can serve as a barrier to knowledge acquisition, the need for scientific learning material in French is pivotal in many African countries. Pharmetheus' consultants, primarily those who contributed to the French translation of Pharmacometrics Africa’s Pharmacometrics Self-paced online course, feature as guest speakers.



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Foundational steps

Focusing on breaking linguistic barriers, the non-profit organization Pharmacometrics Africa, with support from Pharmetheus and French-speaking faculty professors, launched a French version of their online course in Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacometrics. The program is tailored for French-speaking scientists within and from Africa and spans 3 months.

– Learning material in French opens doors for developing the scientific competencies within french-speaking Africa, Dr. Anna Chan Kwong says.

Dr. Anna Chan Kwong, first co-author to the award-winning poster “Expanding the reach of clinical pharmacology and pharmacometrics in Africa: A French-version of an online training course“, presented at WCoP 2022.

She works as pharmacometrician at Pharmetheus, and emphasizes the program’s significance and its important role in supporting the professional and personal growth of participants. Anna has been involved in the initiative since its beginning, starting with the translation of English learning material into an openly accessible French self-paced course, hosted on the Moodle e-learning platform by Pharmacometrics Africa. The progressions were demonstrated in a poster presented at WCoP 2022, and won the Impact award.

“Learning material in French opens doors to global engagement for the scientific competencies within Francophone Africa.”

– Access to education in French holds significant importance in many African nations, emphasizes Anna who was the first co-author, and presenter, of the poster.

A remarkable interest

This first iteration of the online training course in Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacometrics is led by Dr. Sonia Khier from the University of Montpellier, spans over three months and consists of a comprehensive learning program.

– The online training has garnered remarkable interest, surpassing initial enrolment projections. The overwhelming interest clearly signals the need for specialized educational opportunities within the Francophone scientific community, Sonia says.

Dr. Sonia Khier teaching at a Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) Workshop in Kampala, Uganda, in January 2024

Online, bilingual and guided

The format can be described as bilingual, where French-speaking presenters guide participants to process the material, which is subtitled in French. Pharmetheus’ French-speaking consultants Dr. Anna Chan Kwong, Dr. Anais Glatard, Dr. Fanny Gallais, and Dr. Celine Sarr – contributors in the translation of course material – are featured as guest speakers through the program, as well as Dr. Kamunkhwala Gausi.

Background and country of participants. As registrations opened, the high level of interest prompted an increase in the number of places in the course to 72, with about half being filled by students from Senegal, followed by Tunisia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The majority of participants are Pharm.D. students, where 7 are in their 2nd and 3rd year and 40 are master students.

Fostering empowerment

“This is not just about education; it’s about empowerment and inclusion”
Dr. Colin Pillai runs two social ventures that develop scientific capability in drug discovery and development in low- and middle-income countries. Previously, he worked as a pharmacometrician and senior leader at Roche and Novartis in Switzerland.

Dr. Colin Pillai of CP+ Associates, heading the project for Pharmacometrics Africa, praises the program’s energy and acknowledges the significant contributions of faculty members motivated by a passion for advancing African science.

– This is not just about education; it’s about empowerment and inclusion. and I am very grateful for the support of the international team of volunteer faculty, says Colin.

This online tutored training, like the now well established English versions of the course, aims to increase the application of model-based methods in drug development and clinical practice in Africa.

The English version has been run by partner Universities in Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. These courses are part of a set of training activities to develop and strengthen health-related scientific capacity and capability in low and middle income countries (LMICs).

Although the tutored sessions began on April 8th and registration is now closed, the translated online course will remain available and the training fellowship is planned to run again in the future.

For further information or to volunteer, interested individuals can visit

The driving force

About PMX Africa

Pharmacometrics Africa is a non-profit company registered in South Africa with the goal to develop quantitative clinical pharmacology among African scientists, and more generally among pharmacometricians in low and middle-income countries (LMIC). Pharmacometrics Africa establishes and runs open access quantitative clinical pharmacology educational programs in partnership with local research organizations and academic groups.

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