Ki Kati! (Chi-ka-tee)
Fun Fact: Halloween is my favorite holiday, but it is not really celebrated here. We were told by our amazing driver, David, that the holiday is celebrated on the weekend by the “partiers” only….so no candy for us 😦
Anywayssss, I am going to cover the last two days of experiences here in Uganda!
On Wednesday, we started our day at Kiruddu hospital. This was the first day we were able to round at the women’s HIV ward. The experience was VERY eye opening. We again divided into two teams to round and see patients. My team had the opportunity to work closely with the medical students from Makerere University. Most of our patients were very sick and battling illnesses such as HIV, TB, and oral thrush. The wards are quite packed and lack standard monitoring devices we use in the United States. A medical student asked us to review medications for a patient and check for drug interactions. It was so natural for me to see TDF, an ART medication, and ask “Do we know their renal function?” The student informed us that hepatic and renal functions are desired, but unfortunately many patients cannot afford to have them checked. It really surprises me how little information they may have, but they do everything in their power to make the best clinical decision that will be safe and effective for their patients. I feel as though I am SO reliant on having as much clinical data I can possibly gather before making a decision, so I am learning a lot about how to use the little resources I have available. This type of situation reminds me a lot of my emergency room rotation (which I loved so much) so in a way it excites me and is making me more confident in my clinical knowledge.
While rounding in the women’s HIV ward, Mayi and Rubi went over to a child who they saw caring for his grandmother. They gave him two toy dinosaurs which you could tell made him so happy. It’s the little things in life 🙂
Following our experience at the women’s HIV ward, we went to Makerere University to teach the pharmacy students how to take blood pressures. This was a highlight of the trip for me because I have a huge interest in Academia (shoutout to my amazing mum for that influence). Dr. Manning started the session by covering various aspects of hypertension and how to properly take a BP. The students then broke up into small groups which each of the 7 of us had the opportunity to lead. I loved this opportunity because I got to use my Care Lab skills to teach students how to counsel patients, take BPs, and educate patients on the importance of monitoring hypertension. I was pleasantly surprised with how interactive the students were. They asked various questions and seemed so grateful to have us there!
Above are photos of Stacy (our preceptor) and Mike (P4 student) educating Makerere University pharmacy students on how to properly take a BP.
Later on Wednesday night, we had the opportunity to go to a cultural dance show in Kigowa. We got to eat traditional Ugandan food and watch the various dances of the tribes in Uganda! One of the coolest aspects of the show was the instruments they played. We got to hear the loudest drums in all of Africa! The show also ended with us being invited to join in and dance…this was definitely a highlight for Mayi!
There were various costumes highlighted through out the show, but this was definitely Katy’s favorite. As she put it “OMG! They have my hair color!”
Today (Thursday) was a much calmer day. We spent our morning at Mulago hospital where we again split up into two teams. My team had the opportunity to get somewhat of a tour of various wards on the campus. We got to see the Neuro ICU, Emergency Room, Community Pharmacy, Outpatient Mental Health Clinic, and another Pediatric ward. It was really interesting being able to see so many areas of the campus. We definitely did not realize how large of a campus Mulago was! We spent most of our time in the Emergency Room speaking with the pharmacists who worked there. They had a variety of medications such as antihypertensives, pain medications, antibiotics, etc. I spent my last rotation at Hershey Medical Center in the Emergency Room so I was able to really compare the differences between both emergency rooms. An aspect I enjoyed was how active the pharmacists are in validating medications for safety and efficacy for the patients. I was somewhat surprised at how much they were relied on in the ER. An aspect that shocked me was, again, the lack of monitoring devices present in the hospital. There are a lot of very ill patients in the ER, but the physicians, nurses, and pharmacists do their best to treat them or get them admitted to one of the hospital wards!
This picture shows Dr. Manning, Autumn, Britt, Mayi, Rubi, and myself speaking with the pharmacist and intern in the Emergency Room Pharmacy!
Our experiences have been so incredible so far this trip! It is crazy to think that we have already been in this amazing country for over a week. I am looking forward to being able to continue to learn and grow through this special APPE experience and I hope you are all excited to continue to follow our journey! 🙂
Siiba Bulungi! (Good Day)