4 October 2016It was a good day! In the morning we went to the Pharmacy School and the students and Dr Foote sat in on the Tutorial session for the 3rd year pharmacy students. The curriculum here is taught in a PBL format- Problem Based-Learning. This focuses the responsibility of learning on the students and the faculty are the facilitators of learning. The logistics of this pedagogy is that there are 2 tutorials per week and each week introduces a new concept and new material. During the first session early in the week the students receive a small scenario, like a patient case, and they analyze this and create a list of objectives that they need to research during the week to teach themselves the material. Then during the 2nd session of the week, the students teach themselves the content. A faculty member, called a tutor, is present and facilitates the learning. As the students present the material to each other, the tutors guide them when needed so they learn the correct facts. This afternoon, we decided to go site seeing since there wasn’t any specific work for us at the hospital. We went to 2 places that I haven’t been before and the experiences were so wonderful, that I hope to include this in future trips. We went out to the Uganda National Mosque and the B’hai Temple. We had tour guides for both and learned a lot about these different religions. The woman who led the Mosque tour chanted from the Koran for us when we were looking at the large version encased in glass and the tones were soooo beautiful! The view from the high tower was incredible. You could see all of Kampala! We also enjoyed the tour of the B’hai Temple. This is the only temple in Africa! The flowers around the temple were lovely but then it started to rain so we couldn’t explore as much as we wanted to.We ended the day by visiting one of Gonsha’s pharmacies. I’ve known Gonsha since about 2012 and she was one of the Ugandan pharmacists that came to the USA to study with me in July/August 2015. Since returning from the USA, Gonsha has tried to implement more patient care services such as taking her patient’s blood pressures and recording their drug therapy and making reminder phone calls to improve adherence. This is not very common in Uganda because a pharmacy doesn’t even have to have a pharmacist present to operate. Many pharmacies just function with “dispensers” which may be trained pharmacy technicians or just staff that are trained on the job. And although the are medications that are supposed to be purchased only on prescriptions from the clinician, this rule isn’t enforced so a person can basically ask for any drug and be sold it in the pharmacy. They can also get antibiotics without a prescription and I think this is leading to the high Antimicrobial resistance rates in Uganda. Most of the respiratory tract infections that people get are viral yet most pharmacies want to sell more drugs so instead of just selling a person a cough syrup or a decongestant, they talk people into purchasing antibiotics that they probably don’t need.
All in all this was a GREAT DAY!!