Pharmacists and community partners collaborate to identify and address community health issues in the slums of agra, India
Touro College of Pharmacy (TCOP-NY), Urban Health Resource Centre (UHRC) and Women Health Federations in Agra slums, India (WHFA), conducted health camps in poor Agra communities to: 1) screen for diabetes, hypertension, nutrition status, and pulmonary function; 2) counsel on disease prevention, medication management; and 3) make medical referrals.
TCOP doctoral students and faculty activities were add-ons to the UHRC/WHFA maternal and child health camps. Participants were queried regarding medical history, current medications, and life style. Nutritional status, blood pressure, blood glucose and pulmonary function were evaluated using Body Mass Index (BMI), sphygmomanometer, glucometer, and pocket spirometry.
Age range of the 105 participants (18 male, 87 female) was 18-85 years. Twenty women (23%) and 13 men (72%) reported using tobacco products. Twenty-three individuals (21.9%) were underweight, 27 (25.7%) were overweight or obese. Twenty-four of 40 participants (60%) who had pocket spirometry had peak expiratory flow (PEF) values < 70% of PEF goal, 11% of participants were hypertensive and 5% had elevated blood glucose. Three of four individuals with diagnosed tuberculosis, were non-adherent to therapy, a serious public health concern.
Recommendations include: 1) development of community-focused education materials regarding nutrition, tobacco consumption, and medication adherence; 2) promotion of accessible health care; 3) additional training of community health advocates; and 4) dissemination of WHFA model of community organizing, empowerment and health promotion.
Pharmacists are an unrecognized public health resource. Collaborative partnerships among pharmacists, NGOs and slum-based WHFA's hold potential to identify and address community health issues.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Demonstrate the potential of pharmacists as a community and public health resource. Identify the mutual value of international collaborative relationships among health professionals, NGOs and local community organizations in identifying and addressing community health issues.
Keyword(s): Access to Health Care, Collaboration
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Audrey Jacobson, MD, MPH, MA is the Director of Public Health Education, Practice and Research at the Touro College of Pharmacy. She was the Medical Director of the New York City Department of Education for more than twenty years and has been a member of the Advisory Board of the Womenâs Center, an HIV family services program (Montefiore Medical Center,) and the Board of Directors of the Public Health Association of New York City.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.