With COVID-19, healthcare has found new definitions and dimensions of unity. When people were confined by isolation, healthcare providers all over the world pulled together to serve them risking their own lives. The world population had united with a single concern – the PANDEMIC, and with a single hope – Health providers. This unity made things possible, and easier. We accomplished things which we never in a million years have dreamt we would do. And hence, we were forced to say, ‘Unity drives to Possibility’.
This pharmacist day, pharmacists everywhere unite for a cause. For a healthier world. A pharmacy job everywhere is challenging in all possible ways. They’re doing extra jobs, getting paid less, lack of recognition, working in the middle of diseases, job pressures and many more. And all these are reasons enough for one to regret their career selection. During my career as hospital and retail pharmacist, I have found many such people. But there are pharmacists, though minor in number, with a passion towards their profession, value their responsibilities, respect people’s health, and love to serve them. And these unapologetic pharmacists, when united, make big differences on society and its health structure.
From the sources of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), there were major initiatives by pharmacists from different countries, which ended up in wonderful results. Quoting FIP, in Tanzania, pharmacies reduce the risk of anaemia by providing iron supplements; in South Africa, pharmacists do immunization programs and thereby reduce measles and polio; in India, pharmacists are part of Tuberculosis Control Program, they provide screening, referral and directly observed treatment; Canadian pharmacists help in mental health of patients through specialised services; in Kyrgyzstan, community pharmacies supply Naloxone in order to prevent death from opioid overdose and the list goes on.
Like every profession, pharmacists should also have unity within them. But the spectrum for health professionals will be even wider to meet the major goal. Pharmacists must work with different professionals like doctors, nurses, technicians, microbiologists, management and many more as a team to get the best output. Inter Professional Education (IPE) is a term closely linked to IPP. It occurs when two or more health professionals learn with, from and about each other to improve health outcomes. It’s the key enabler of IPP.
World Health Organization has developed a Framework for Action on Inter Professional Education and Practice to support both ideas. The framework was prepared under the leadership of John HV Gilbert and Jean Yan. As per the study reports, IPE is necessary in preparation of a ‘Collaborative practice ready’ health workforce. Collaborative practice happens when multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds work together with patients, families, carers and communities deliver the highest quality of care.
The aforementioned achievements are results of such unified efforts. As people around the world are in struggle to access quality healthcare because of various reasons, we as pharmacists, the frontline health workers must tighten all the intra and inter professional bonds for a healthier world.
The pharmacy groups and associations around the world should have an undeniable influence on the ruling system, and these organizations should always stand for people’s health. They should stand united, work wholehearted for it. We already have a Goal my friends, we just have to find a way.