Thursday, 21 June 2018
Greetings! Sorry for the lack of a blog post last evening. I went out to dinner with friends and got back to the Mulago Guest House very late. When I sat down to write, I was falling asleep so I decided not to post. I wondered if anyone would notice and sure enough, today one of the Pharmacy Interns mentioned that he missed my blog last night! So, let me not disappoint today. 🙂
It’s been a great day! I was able to attend the weekly CPD (continuing professional development) program for the pharmacy interns training in Kampala today. It was held at the Makerere University Medical School of the campus of Mulago Hospital. This time it wasn’t me and my students presenting but Dr. Melanie Nicol’s students, Sara and Kunkun, and her Global Health Fellow, Prosperity. It was so nice to sit back and listen to them and look around to see how engaged the interns were. They were speaking on the Pharmaceutical Care process and how to identify Drug Therapy Problems.
Afterwards we took a large group photo on the lawn. I also enjoyed meeting up with Derrick and Noah and two other interns I haven’t seen in awhile, Paul and Mark.
It is so exciting that they are all really interested in pharmaceutical care and clinical pharmacy. They want to use their skills to make a difference in the health of their patients. But the challenges are numerous. Even if you review a patient’s chart or meet with them to determine what drug therapy is best, the drugs are often not available. As I’ve mentioned before, the “free” government health care, really isn’t so “free” when patients have to go purchase their own drugs or go without. At least they do not have to pay for the consultations with the physicians. All of the doctor visits are free. But for surgery, the patients need to go and purchase all of the supplies—everything from the sutures, to the bandages and gauze, to the bone wax, as in neurosurgery, and even to the intravenous (IV) morphine they will need for pain relief as part of the surgical procedure or in the immediate post-op period. After that, the strongest pain medicine they get is Tramadol. And this is quite a large expense for Ugandans!
Today we also said goodbye to the University of Minnesota students. They fly back to the USA tonight but Prosperity gets to stay on for another month, I believe.
I also met with the Secretary of PSU, Sam Opio, this afternoon. (Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda) We’ve been working together for years and today we discussed potential next steps in our capacity building research to advance pharmacy practice in Uganda. I’ll share more about this as the project proposal comes together. Needless to say, I left this meeting super excited for the future!!
This afternoon I met up with a friend for lunch, Daniel Hernandez and his wife, Julie and their adorable 9mo old baby girl. Daniel used to work for OneWorld Health, the NGO from the USA that is the parent organization for the Masinidi-Kitara Medical Center. It was great to catch up.
Afterwards I walked to two new craft shops that I haven’t been to before, but was told about recently. One of them called Good Glass makes beautiful glassware from old wine bottles and the other was a clothing shop, Kampala Fair, where they had numerous dresses made from African fabrics. They also make hand-crocheted rugs from African fabrics. I just love the bright colors—they make me smile!