Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Week 4

Time flies when you're having fun! I cannot believe it is already week 4! So what have I been up to lately? Last Thursday I visited Valelevu Health Centre to compare diabetes prescribing patterns there with trends at CWM hospital and the National Diabetes Centre. The pharmacy at the health centre is staffed by one pharmacy technician, and a part time pharmacist, so a lot of the time the technician is on their own. Just to go over the hierarchy here, divisional hospitals are the bigger tertiary hospitals here (like CWM), then you have the smaller, sub-divisional hospitals, the health centres, then the nurse stations. As you go down the hierarchy, prescribing is restricted to a smaller list of medications. So things like paracetamol could be prescribed at all health facilities, but something like ciprofloxacin would only be available at a divisional hospital.

Queen's birthday long weekend just passed and I headed to Nadi again with my friend from FSM. The weather was great, we went to a few beaches, the Nadi market, a temple and looked at the shops. It was nice to get away from Suva's rain for a while!

Back in Suva this week I'm finalising my data collection and beginning to put my report together. I've interviewed 20 diabetes patients now and the results have been interesting. Today at CWM I helped out in the outpatients dispensary which was fun! It was so busy! All tablets are packaged in plastic bags, even things like digoxin which we normally put in childproof containers back home....there's no point in wasting money for fancy packaging here...

I made a brief visit to the National Kidney Foundation....It is the first and only haemodialysis centre in Fiji. It has 9 dialysis beds and it is a fully private organisation so only paying patients can undergo haemodialysis for about $250. It's quite sad that so many people miss out on dialysis here....The only other form of dialysis (peritoneal dialysis) is done at Suva Private hospital.

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