“Global health is so important now because it focuses on health problems that defy national borders and thus requires the collaborative efforts of countries around the world to address them,” explained Dr. Joyce Addo-Atuah, interim department chair and associate professor at TCOP who teaches the course and organized the U.N. trip. “We offer our course to highlight what pharmacists can do to help solve some of the many challenges facing the world, especially those that are medicine-related. In this way, it is unique among PharmD curricula.”
She added, “The course throws more light on the menace of global circulation of counterfeit and sub-standard medicines, increasing resistance of medicines to diseases such as HIV/AIDS and TB, and problems associated with drug donations following disasters.”
The class draws students who are interested in working in global health and others who aim just to become well-rounded pharmacists. Some end up interning at organizations focused on global health, such as the World Health Organization.
“I like [that] it gives me a different perspective about what we learn in pharmacy school,” said second-year student Virleny Garcia. “The class encourages us to think globally and we’re broadening our spectrum of knowledge. Even if you work in a hospital you’re introduced to so many different cultures, you need to be globally competent.”
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