On June 22, 2019, GMU PharmD students organized a community engagement activity, titled “Vitamin D and Bone Health”, at Nesto Hypermarket, Mushairef, Ajman. The objectives of the program was to educate the public on safe and effective use of medications related to bone health, create awareness on usage of Vitamin D and painkillers in bone and joint pain, educate public on weight management strategies, and to provide information on dietary supplements related to bone and joints.
The PharmD students interacted with the public, calculated their Body Mass Index (BMI) and educated them on the importance of maintaining weight, and sensitized the public that overweight can lead to joint problems which in turn can force them to take painkillers. The harmful effects on long-term use of painkillers were are also explained to the public.
Counselling was provided on the causes of Vitamin D deficiency, dietary sources of Vitamin D, and substitution of Vitamin D in case of deficiency. Special emphasis was laid on importance of sun exposure in maintaining Vitamin D levels.
Dr. Subish commented “Interacting with the general public and creating awareness on a common health problem shows GMU College of Pharmacy students’ commitment towards population health. This event provided our students with an opportunity to campaign for a highly prevalent health condition and enhanced their communication skills with the general public in laymen language. Considering Vitamin D deficiency, a common health problem in the United Arab Emirates, this event is timely in involving PharmD students, the future healthcare professionals having a crucial role to play in multiple settings such as hospital, community and pharmaceutical industries”.