College of Pharmacy Students Educate Public on Seasonal Flu and Responsible Use of Medications

As a part of the ongoing Community Engagement and Population Health initiatives, the Semester VIII PharmD students along with students undergoing their Community Pharmacy Care APPE rotations, organized a Community Engagement event titled ‘Ask Your Pharmacist’ at Al Helio Park, Ajman on 9th of February 2019.  The main objective of the event was to educate the public on Seasonal Flu and to promote safe and effective use of medications in the community.

During this event, the students, under the guidance of Faculty mentors and Clinical preceptors (Registered Pharmacists) displayed educational posters and engaged in answering queries raised by the park visitors. Students spoke on benefits and harmful effects of medicines, their usage, storage, need for patient adherence and prevention strategies for adverse drug reactions.  As an initiative to educate the public on Seasonal Flu, a condition more prevalent during winter, students demonstrated the World Health Organization(WHO) recommended ‘Hand Washing Technique’ to both children and adults. Participants were told on the importance of hand hygiene in the prevention of Seasonal Flu and the need for visiting the hospital in specified cases and highlighted the differences between ‘Common cold’ and ‘Seasonal Flu’.  Students, being from different nationalities enabled them in providing the education and counselling in multiple languages, making the event more fruitful and catering for a wider population

Abedeen Subratty, Final year PharmD student and the student representative of the University’s Community Engagement committee said, “It was a great opportunity for the GMU College of Pharmacy students to practice their pharmacy skills as effective communicators with the public and educate them on health issues”.

Dr. Subish Palaian, Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy commented: The Community Engagement and Population Health initiatives by the College of Pharmacy enable PharmD students to perform their role as managers, health educators and promoters of population health, in addition to improving their advocacy skills. He further added, “This event also helped the students in differentiating the skills needed for patient education and counseling sessions in an institution setting from the ones provided to general public, the latter being more voluntary and offered to healthy individuals”.