18 September 2015:
When I come to Uganda I never can anticipate exactly what I activities I will participate in here. Of course, I have planned ahead for my main tasks, and this time, that was the teaching of the Pharmaceutical Care Skills Lab (PCSL) and working with pharmacy students and Interns at Mulago Hospital. But, every trip, other things come up as well. Late last week I was asked to prepare a presentation on Pharmaceutical Care and How to Implement It for a meeting of the Intern Supervisors in Uganda. The PSU (Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda) had planned a meeting of all the Hospital Pharmacists that are supervising Interns to work on developing new policies and procedures. When I met with the Secretary of the PSU, Sam Opio, last Thursday he realized it would be a good audience to hear about the work I’ve been doing with Makerere School of Pharmacy and Mulago Hospital in hopes that more hospitals will be interested in starting to provide Pharmaceutical Care services.
I wasn’t sure what kind of interest I would receive from the other hospitals in terms of having the Interns and themselves get more active in direct patient care. It is not that I thought they might not be interested in implementing Pharmaceutical Care because most of the pharmacists I have spoken to are really interested and know it is beneficial to patient care, but there always seem to be so many barriers to overcome that I wasn’t sure how feasible it is. But my worries were completely unfounded. My reception was terrific, in fact during the questioning after my presentation, it became clear that many of the Hospitals represented want to know how they can get me to come and work with them. Wow, I sure wish I could go to all of the hospitals to work with the Pharmacists and Pharmacy Interns to identify barriers and to help them figure out what is feasible, but I am only one person and have a limited time in Uganda. This is exactly why I really want to interest more American Pharmacy Faculty in joining with me on this project. Most of us are committed to our work at our own Universities for much of the year and would only have limited time to come to Uganda.
But if we can all work together and each of us come at different times of the year, we could really provide the mentorship and guidance that Ugandan Pharmacists and the PSU needs to make a real difference in patient care. Of course, the other challenge from my end is funding. So far I haven’t been able to find a grant to apply for that would provide funding for this type of project. I will keep on looking though, hoping that something will eventually pop up. In the meantime, if any of you readers are interested in supporting my work in Uganda, there is a DONATE button on the top right hand portion of this Blog. The money will go directly to Wilkes University into a fund specifically for this Uganda Project. Thanks for considering this opportunity. While I’m here this visit, I have been invited to work with a couple of other hospitals, Nysambia and Mengo Hospital. I will be telling you more about my experiences with the Pharmacists and Pharmacy Interns there next week.