The role of a pharmacy residency program in global health: Establishing pediatric clinical pharmacy services in a Malawian hospital

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American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy


Purpose: To describe the establishment of pediatric clinical pharmacy services in a Malawian hospital as part of a pharmacy residency program's engagement in global health. Summary: While pharmacy is expanding its role in global health through the introduction of international advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) rotations at US schools of pharmacy, international experiences for pharmacy residents are currently very limited. Such programs are advantageous for pharmacists planning for a career in public or global health, and there is also great opportunity for clinical pharmacists to work with international partners for professional development and to help advance pharmacy practice. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy recently expanded its international APPE rotation in Malawi into the postgraduate training space through creation of a pediatric pharmacy residency training program, with the specific aim of working with partners in Malawi to introduce pediatric pharmacy services at Kamuzu Central Hospital. As this was the first time there was a pharmacist involved in patient care on the pediatric wards, the focus for the participating pharmacy resident was on establishing a positive relationship with the medical team through providing high-quality collaborative patient care for the pediatric population. In addition to working to establish pediatric clinical pharmacy services, the resident further contributed to sustainable improvements in pediatric patient care by identifying areas for quality improvement. We discuss several considerations for the successful implementation of international experiences and their impact on participating residents. Conclusion: Pharmacy has an opportunity to build on the success of international APPE rotations and expand postgraduate offerings. Through collaboration with other institutions already involved in global health and identifying international rotation sites, residency programs across the country can create similarly beneficial global health experiences for their pharmacy residents.

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