Greetings from Uganda- Yes, I’m Here Again!

This in not an official U.S. Department of State (DOS) blog and the views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the DOS. 

Hi Readers: I was hoping to get the following news posted BEFORE I arrived in Uganda but the craziness of preparing for a month away along with my normal teaching duties caused me to leave this until now.  As stated, I’m in Uganda again (read below for an explanation.)   I left PA on Saturday afternoon, March 1 and finally arrived in Entebbe, Uganda at 11:45pm local time (equivalent to 3:45pm Sunday 3/2 EST).  The flights were long as expected but also included one 2hour delay due to a problem with the plane leaving Amsterdam. A wonderful driver from Makerere University was patiently waiting to pick me up, though, and I was greeted with a large smile from a familiar face- Martin had driven me before and remembered me.  What a nice arrival.  We drove to Kampala in record time due to the late hour and little traffic, but due to an unexpected circumstances, the hotel wasn’t prepared to receive me so I wasn’t settled in at a new one until around 2:30am. I was truly glad for the bed and slept well.  Today has been really busy with back to the original hotel, which is quite nice, and spending the day at the University jumping right into the project (as stated below).  One last thing before I go, a pharmacy faculty member from St. John’s University in New York City who specializes in Palliative Care arrived today in Kampala with a physician colleague to check out the possibility of bringing pharmacy students and working with the Palliative Care team at Mulago Hospital.  She had actually met me through my blog and arranged to join me for the first week of this trip.  We are now here together working towards a common goal- helping to advance pharmacy practice and patient care in Uganda. Bye for now- more tomorrow.

This is the brief story of how I came to be here in Uganda, right now.

Greetings Readers, Since my return to PA from Uganda At the end of
October 2013 my blog has been quiet, but the home front has been
anything but quiet. As you previously read, the 1-month trip with my
pharmacy students was a wonderful success full of many mutual learning
experiences with new and old friends, good times, and many wonders as
we explored the beautiful nature, plants and animals on our Ugandan

Immediately upon arriving in the States, I met two Ugandan Pharmacists
at the airport to begin the first phase of my new project to help
advance Pharmaceutical Care in Uganda.  In collaboration with faculty
at D’Youville School of Pharmacy in Buffalo, NY, this 8-week course,
mostly experiential, was designed to teach higher level clinical
pharmacy skills not normally taught to Ugandan undergraduates studying
pharmacy for a Bachelors degree. The idea is that the Ugandan
Pharmacists would then take these skills to their country and begin to
build up the practice of pharmacy in their hospitals so that
ultimately patient healthcare outcomes are improved. They will also be
working with other pharmacists, pharmacy interns, and pharmacy
students to teach these skills. Below are their brief introductions
and pictures.  I will be elaborating on the activities of this project
in a later post(s) but right now I have some other great news to

I was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Grant to work with Makerere
University Department of Pharmacy in Kampala, Uganda to develop and
implement a Pharmaceutical Care Skills course for their undergraduate
pharmacy degree!!  Professor Richard Odoi from Makerere and I have
been working together for the past 4-5 years to help bring about the
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) in Global Health where I
bring Wilkes University and other U.S. Schools of Pharmacy students to
Uganda which has now resulted in 2 successful trips with a 3rd planned
for April 2015.  We also continue to work on the Water Research
project in Masindi, Uganda to help The Water Trust, a WASH NGO, assess
the impact of their projects on the health of the villagers they
serve. This actually started in 2011, the year before my first APPE
trip.  And now we’ve been successful in achieving this Fulbright grant
to help advance pharmacy education!  And the most exciting news is
that as I write this post, I am on a flight to Uganda where I will
spend 1 month accomplishing the first of 3-parts to this project.  In
brief, this first trip will be focused on information gathering to
figure out exactly what the curriculum should look like to best serve
the needs of Uganda and Makerere University.  I will be working with
the faculty who will eventually teach the course (the faculty
champions) to develop the learning outcomes so that in between trip 1
and 2, I will write the curriculum during a sabbatical from Wilkes.
Trip 2 will take place in September 2014 and at that time I will teach
the curriculum to both students and the faculty champions using a
train-the-trainer model.  During Trip 3 I will help the faculty
champions assess the effectiveness of the course and the abilities of
the students to achieve the learning outcomes. Now back to the current
trip- I will continue to blog and share my experiences throughout the
month I’m in Uganda so stay tuned for more…

Now introducing the first Ugandan Pharmacists to participate in the
Wilkes-D’Youville Advanced Pharmaceutical Care Course in the USA:

Vicky in front of her hospital, China-Uganda Friendship Hospital-Naguru, Kampala, Uganda

Vicky in front of her hospital, China-Uganda Friendship Hospital-Naguru, Kampala, Uganda

Vicky Nyombi graduated from the State Educational Institution of
Higher Professional Education Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy of
the Federal Agency of Public Health and Social Development, Russia.
She is employed as the sole pharmacist and head the pharmacy department at the China-Uganda Friendship Hospital- Naguru (CUFH-N) in Kampala.  CUFH-N is a new (2012) small, 100-bed facility. In her application she stated “I have discovered that this training in Pharmaceutical care is timely and I am optimistic and confident that at the end of the training, there will be better patient care outcomes
in our hospital.”  One of the things that made her a great candidate was her prior experiences trying to implement new services such as developing a system of reporting the pharmacy needs to the clinical
team and being the secretary of the Medicines and Therapeutic Committee where though these activities she has “seen a positive impact in rational prescribing”.  Agreeing to come to the USA meant leaving her supportive husband and her 2 young sons to brave the cold
Nov- Dec weather of PA and NY.  The latter, though, was not going to be totally new to Vicky since she was quite familiar with cold and snowy weather from her education in Russia.

Patrick is standing in Mulago National Referral Hospital, his practice site

Patrick Opio, a graduate of Makerere University, is one of the 6 pharmacists at. Mulago National Referral Hospital.  Mulago is a huge, 1500 bed facility. Although there are few pharmacists, most of the
dispensing of medications is performed  by the 65 pharmacy interns deployed to Mulago for their mandatory post- graduation training and
Patrick is one of their preceptors. Patrick, too, has distinguished himself with his involvement on many committees and projects designed to improve patient care at Mulago.  In referring to his participation
in this course in his application, he stated “I’m confident it will equip me with more skills to provide better pharmaceutical care in line with the vision and mission of Mulago hospital of becoming the centre of excellence in provision of specialized health care to referred patients and conducting research.” Patrick also left a supportive wife and 4 children at home to spend this time in the USA. The cold weather in PA and NY, not to mention possible snow, will definitely be something new to him as he hasn’t ever lived outside of

About kbohan

Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice Binghamton University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Binghamton, NY USA
This entry was posted in Beginnings, Diseases/Health, Fulbright Specialist Project and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Greetings from Uganda- Yes, I’m Here Again!

  1. John Hagen says:

    Congratulations and best wishes for successful projects!! Your work has really expanded and we love hearing about it. After freezing in Minnesota for the last few months (Pa. has been almost as bad–and we have more snow plows), we will be spending a few days (March 8 to11) with your mom in Florida. Diane and John Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2014 21:29:02 +0000 To:


    • kbohan says:

      Hi it’s so nice to hear from you- I’m definitely enjoying the warm weather 80’s during the day and into the 60’s at night. I hear PA was supposed to be -8F last night. Have fun at Moms


  2. keke0204 says:

    Hi KarenBeth! So glad you had safe travels and are once again doing amazing things! I am so excited to hear you are working with a pharmacy faculty member from St. John’s, my alma mater! Albeit a while back, but curious to know if I would know them! Be safe …
    Kristen Billek-Boyle


  3. Pingback: Planning the Next Steps for Advancing Pharmacy Practicein Uganda: Part 1 | Out of the Pharmacy Classroom and Into Africa

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