Sorry for late post, but I have been really busy trying to get things worked out. So let me go back and talk about each day so far.
Day 1: After about 3 hours of sleep, I had to attend a scheduled a meeting with Dr. Banshi Saboo (the director of Diabetic Care India – Project KADAM). I got to the office by about 11am. After waiting for the Doctor for a little while, I got an opportunity to interact with the Doctors Assistant Dr. Hardik. He helped me get contacts together, get disposal protocol worked out, and got supplies for the project. Overall, it was a light day with a little chance for me to experience the culture and festivities that is going on in India at this time.
I went shopping for all the supplies, made documents for record purposes, made copies of test and presentations and got all stationary and equipments ready.
Day 2: (Laughing Club + Training Session):
5:00am: Was very long. I got barely 5 hours of sleep. I woke up at 5am to shadow a retired doctor who has devoted rest of their life in serving the community. Dr. Mukund Mehta. Dr. Mukund Mehta runs 200 laughing club around the city and visits each club once every week. I went club hopping with him. He introduced me to his club members and club leaders. (He calls his club leader and volunteers – Angels). The main purpose of our meeting was to help me identify potential locations for screening. His club had the perfect target audience – Health conscious people who will utilize and benefit from our information and education session. I went to 3 different clubs in a really far city called Kalupur. (Unfortunately It was exactly on the other side of city from Nirma University, Institute of Pharmacy which was my next stop). I got 2 minutes at each club to introduce myself, talk about my project, intention, and goals of the project. Each club members were very respectful and welcomed me with their laugh greeting.
7:30am: I got out from club hopping by 7:30am. I had only 1.5 hours before my next stop – Nirma’s Traning session. I had a hard copy of my presentation and test but didn’t have enough photocopies for everyone. So, I had to stop by a local photocopy place to make copies. That took more than 30 mins, leaving me with less than an hour before my next appointment.
8:00 am: I rushed through the city and went out to Nirma University. Fortunately, I got there at 9 sharp. In mist of running around and finding my way to the university, I completely forgot for call the snacks delivery guy to reconfirm the order. Fortunately, the delivery guy delivered the snacks, plates, napkins, drinks, etc on time.
9am: I got one entire lecture hall with projector and white board to write with. I had approximately 20 students and 2 faculty member attend my training session. Due to limited role of a pharmacist in India, I confused all the students when I introduced my purpose of the project. However, once I finished my training session, I was able to further explain the purpose of training session. To my surprise, these student already had all these information. They knew the diagnosis criteria, counseling points, disease state, complications, medication, etc. The only thing they lacked at was the application of the knowledge. Upon, questioning, I found out that pharmacist have some basic clinical skills but are never taught the applications of the knowledge as it would be useless anyways.
11am: After my presentation was done, we took a 30-minute break to discuss potential challenges we may face with the project.
11:30am: I started the “lab” version of the training along with the clinical pharmacist of the school. We trained students on how to use the glucometers and potential errors to be careful of.
1:00pm: We started informal session where we started discussing our plan of attack as a group. With incorporation of Nirma students and faculties ideas, I modified my first health fair planning. Nirma students came up with a survey that we conduct to identify core questions such as acceptability of a pharmacist in delivering patients healthcare needs, currently knowledge of trained student pharmacist, etc.
2:30pm: Few students stayed back to complete the Feedback form and help me plan the project.
4:00pm:- Went out with one Nirma Student to plan and finalize proposed location.
Day 3: Parimal Garden Screening
5:00am:- Wake up and call the table/chair contractor to deliver the table/chairs at the spot.
6:00am: Reached the location to obtain delivery, and start setting up.
6:30am: Set up 5 tables, posters, banner, etc.
7:00am: Started screening the morning joggers. The faculty and the students performed the entire screening. At each screening booth, I emphasized taking time to talk to the participants and educate diabetic about potential hypoglycemia due to insulin and educate non-diabetic about regular checkups to avoid complications of diabetes. At frequent time intervals, I made a public announcement that this diabetes camp is entirely organized by the Pharmacy students to test their immediate response. Surprisingly, public was very accepting to have a pharmacist take up a critical role in their healthcare.
1:00pm: After lunch, I visited my next training location to make sure everything is accordingly planned. I met up with the student IPSF representative for Gujarat who played a key role in facilitating me with all my needs.
5:00pm: organized and prepared hand out, testing material, educational flyers, etc for the training session the day after.
Day 4: Training Session at L.M. College of Pharmacy
Schools participated: L.M. College of Pharmacy, Anand Pharmacy College, and S.K. Patel College of Pharmacy
9:00am: Due to lack of Supplies, I had to run to the diabetes specialty store to get enough lancet and test strips for the training session.
11:00am: Reached the college. Took me 30 minutes to set up and get all the students setteled.
11:30am: Started presenation that lasted until 1pm.
1:00pm: Started open discussion/feedback to get students and faculty’s opinion on the project. I got 2 great suggestions:
1. We should try an afternoon place at a mall to get a very random population
2. We should have a separate table for feedback where screened participants can come and conversate with the students regarding the project, and pharmacy students’ involvement in the project. Thus, we added 6th table for feedback and discussion table to our construction of the Diabetes camp.
1:30pm: Snacks and casual mixer. This mixer was particularly designed to have students from different schools to familiarize with each other for efficient working.
2:00pm: Training session that lasted for 2 hours.
4:00pm: As a group, we planned our next health fair site and prepared nce easy access kit that will have everything a group of table might need (The kit included, a pen, meter, strips, alcohol swabs, lancents, cotton, band-aids, gloves, etc.) This significantly reduced my running around during the health fairs.
6:00pm: Met up with Nirma University’s faculty to finalize Saturdays (Dec 25th) location. The team really wanted to conduct a large scale screening for Christmas at one of the popular mall.
8:00pm: Finalized our next day location at at Sardar Patel Institute of Social and Economical research. Meeting time 6:30am.
Day 5: Sardar Patel Institute of Research HF
5:00am – Call the table/chair contracter.
6:00am – Reach the site and set up tables, poster, etc.
6:30am – Started screening. Students from Anand Pharmacy College and S.K.P College of Pharmacy attended the HF. L.M.C.P. had exam until Wednesday so didn’t get participate until then.
11:00am- Once the Health Fair was done, Anand Pharmacy College (APC) team lead and I went drove around to make additional copies of feedback form and data recording sheet that we use during the Heath Fair. Then we drove around to get permission to conduct our largest Christmas Health Fair at a Mall.
4:00pm – After final mall haunt, I started going around to finalize next day’s location.
6:00pm – We finally got approval to conduct Atira Health fair near the gate of Ahmadabad Management Association for the next day Health Fair.
8:00pm – Met up with manager of One mall who wanted me to personally meet him. However, there wasn’t any positive outcome of the meeting.
Day 6: Atira Health Fair
11:00am – Meet with Dr. Saboo and discuss progress, Drop off medical waste, talk to Dr. Hardik regarding his experience with getting a mall space.
2:00pm- Meet with Accu-check representative regarding the errors that the 4 machines were showing.
3:00pm- call the Table/Chair delivery guy to deliver the tables
4:00pm – Get all the tables organized, volunteers checked in, tables set up.
7:00pm – Wrap up the health fair.
Day 7: Kakiriya Lake HF
5:00am – Called the Table/Chair guy to leave from his place
6:00am – received all the table/chairs and organized the tables
6:15am – Started screening the patients due to overwhelming response from the public. By the time all the volunteers arrived, all there was a huge line of people with numbers given to them. Despite of Numbers, we had so many people just rush to an open chair and ask to get screened.
Challenge: Crowd Control. It took 3 volunteers and 1 Cop(who watched out for our supplies) to control the crowd.
Everyone that got screened was really engaging. Our information seemed to have largest impact in this population. Low income and a large number of homeless people surround this lake.
Challenge: We didn’t have a list of free follow up care clinic so we had to verbally refer these participants to Civil Hospital where they could obtain free care.
11:00am – We wrapped up with denying a lot of people due to lack of essential supplies such as Alcohol Swabs and dying battery for the glucometer.
1:00pm- I spent most of my time replenishing all the supplies, making certificates and getting them cut to have an elegant look. The Certificate was a project in itself. I had to first go to a paper FACTORY to choose exact type of paper I needed. I had choices between at least 500 different type and shades of pictures. Then I had to go to a copy place that can make me the copies of the certificate and then finally I had to go to a sheet cutting factory that help me cut the certificate to right exact specification. Overall, it was very time consuming but was a great experience to know that such specialty places exist in Ahmedabad.
Day 8: Vastrapurlake
5:00am – Call for Table/Chairs
6:30am – Set up the tables and chairs (Delivery Guy was late)
7:00am – started the Health fair. This time, as per L.M.C.P’s suggestion, we spread out our tables. The flow was very smooth and didn’t seem like there was a crowd.
11:00am – Wrap up. Took approximately 30 mintues to reflect on our progess since it was the last HF for L.M.C.P, APC and S.K. Patel College of Pharmacy.
1:00pm – Because many student volunteers came from universities that were about 2-3 hours away, I had to plan the appreciation dinner early to save them multiple trips back and forth. So, I spent the rest of the time finalizing a restaurant for the dinner. We Finalized Orico Restaurant that is located in the central location and had space available for Saturday (Dec 25).
8:00pm: Had to print names on all the certificate. Names were determined on the basis of their attendance record. Student has to attend a training session and attend at least 2 HF to qualify for a certificate. All those qualified got certificate.