Health & Science
5:03 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Zambian Pharmacists Train in Wisconsin to Improve Patient Care

Zambian pharmacists are studying American pharmaceuticals to better serve Zambians with HIV/AIDS.
Credit Jon Rawlinson, flickr
Lake Effect's Mitch Teich interviews four pharmacists from Zambia, Elvis Kasongo, Enock Chikatula, Bwalya Simunyola, and Davies Kampamba.

For the past three decades, doctors and pharmacists have worked together to eliminate HIV/AIDS around the world. And recently that partnership is getting renewed attention in Wisconsin.

The Center for International Health (CIH) is in a partnership with Concordia University to help train and educate Zambian pharmacists how to better serve Zambians, especially those who are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.

“If you look at the paradigm shift you see in the pharmacy profession, we are no longer so interested in the product,” says Zambian pharmacist Davies Kampamba. “The product is still very important, but I think we have, in the past, for a long time neglected the patient here.”  

The educational exchange brings Zambian pharmacists from university hospitals to America to study the pharmaceutical system, inspiring the pharmacists to bring back ideas and solutions for better patient care.

In the end, those involved hope the partnership will inspire the Zambian pharmacists to spread the knowledge they gained to other pharmacists in Zambia, to establish a Doctorate in Pharmaceutical program in Zambia, and to better the patient care given by the Zambian pharmacists.

The Center for International Health's interim president and CEO Terry Cooley says the pharmacists' training represents an idea brought to fruition. Twenty-seven years ago, a group of hospitals, higher education institutions, and companies joined together with Milwaukee County to establish the health care partnership.

The Center for International Health was started with the assistance of USAID – the Agency for International Development. Board chair, and Vice President of Research and Academic Relations at Aurora Health Care, Randall Lambrecht says after more than a quarter-century, the Center has trained several thousand health workers in more than 40 countries.

Lake Effect's Mitch Teich interviews Terry Cooley and Randall Lambrecht of the Center for International Health.