Road Trip to Gulu

Friday, April 17, 2015

The group presenting on Methods to Enhance Safe Medication Use

The group presenting on Methods to Enhance Safe Medication Use

Today we took a long drive up to Gulu, which is north of Masindi. We had been asked to come up to give a presentation to the healthcare providers at Gulu Regional Hospital by a Pharmacy Intern, Michael, who had been a student at Makerere University during one of my prior trips to Uganda.

Micheal, the Pharmacy Intern, with the rest of our team just prior to having good lunch at the hospital canteen

Micheal, the Pharmacy Intern, with the rest of our team just prior to having good lunch at the hospital canteen

We came across a chameleon along the road on our way home. Sam, our wonderful driver, has the best eyes for spotting creatures. We stopped and admired it and tried to get out of the road but then it crawled up into the wheel well of our car. But, Lizzie saved the day by rescuing the little lizard. She had to get on the ground and wiggle her hand up into the wheel to grab the little guy.

We came across a chameleon along the road on our way home. Sam, our wonderful driver, has the best eyes for spotting creatures. We stopped and admired it and tried to get out of the road but then it crawled up into the wheel well of our car. But, Lizzie saved the day by rescuing the little lizard. She had to get on the ground and wiggle her hand up into the wheel to grab the little guy.

I had never been to Gulu and thought this would be a good chance to check it out and it would be a good experience for the students and me to share our knowledge and skills. When I asked Michael about how long we should prepare to speak for, he said “3-4 hours and as long as possible.” This made me smile because it just shows how eager these young professionals are to gain more abilities. He mentioned the audience would be multidisciplinary including doctors, clinical officers (like physician assistants), nurses, pharmacists, and the trainees of all these professions. We ended up speaking to about 40-50 enthusiastic people, of which most were first year pharmacy students. All in all it seemed to go well. We didn’t end up getting to finish our whole talk because it took us longer than expected to get there.

The American Pharmacy crew with many of the Ugandan pharmacy students and interns after the talk

The American Pharmacy crew with many of the Ugandan pharmacy students and interns after the talk

We knew it would take 2.5-3 hr and so we planned to leave Masindi at 6am. We were all waiting for Sam, our driver, at 5:45am but he uncharacteristically didn’t show up on time. I gave him until 6:10 and then called. It turns out the car had a flat tire and he was in the middle of changing it. Sam always keeps really good care of his car, but because it is small and the drive was long, he rented a larger vehicle. Although, with the bumpy, rutty, pothole-filled red dirt roads around here, it’s a wonder cars aren’t getting flat tires all of the time. We finally got on the road a little after 6:30am and reached Gulu at about 10:10am. The trip was especially long because there are road crews working on road repair and laying new paved roads all the way to Gulu. It was kind of an exciting trip at times, though, because we passed a bunch of baboons and monkeys along the way. Also, we drove right by Karuma Falls, a beautiful sight that will be extinct within the next couple of years. The government is building a dam there to provide much needed electricity to the north and western part of Uganda but the casualty of this project will be the lovely falls. I’m glad I got to see them now. Enjoy the pictures of our trip and experience as they can tell the story better than I can with words.

Pharmacy students wanted to have their picture taken with us

Pharmacy students wanted to have their picture taken with us

More students

More students

 

This Mama Baboon and her baby were so funny. We stopped to watch them on our way home for about 10min. Eventually, though the dad came by and seemed like he was fed up and was going to jump in the window so we quickly closed it and then moved on.

This Mama Baboon and her baby were so funny. We stopped to watch them on our way home for about 10min. Eventually, though the dad came by and seemed like he was fed up and was going to jump in the window so we quickly closed it and then moved on.

About kbohan

Professor and Founding Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice Binghamton University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Binghamton, NY USA
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One Response to Road Trip to Gulu

  1. kentodoki1992 says:

    I hope you enjoyed Gulu………….it’s actually my home district.

    Like

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