We were up and raring to go bright and early the next day to try and organise the Pharmacy at A World Without Barriers’ own clinic. Our aim was to have most of it set up before the clinics started later on that day. It turned out to be quite a task, but what a great team we had!
When we arrived at the clinic there were boxes and bags of medication to sort out. There was already some medication in the clinic. However, much of the medication had expired. These all had to be cleaned out, the shelves had to be cleaned in the Pharmacy and the stock room and stock had to be replenished. We had to reorganise the medication that was already there and also the medication that had been donated. It was lovely to see the dispensary grow so quickly.
The opticians and dental rooms were soon equipped with suitable medication. We quickly realised that we would need more medication than what was currently available to us and lists were quickly sent out to try and order more. This was not always easy as medication that is common in the UK isn’t always available in Iraq. All too soon it was time to head back to the hotel for prayers and a quick lunch before heading back for our first health clinic.
In all honesty I wasn’t sure what to expect. Initially we tried to sort out the remaining medication in the dispensary and stock room, but before long we were called into action to help advise on some of the medication for patients and to hand out the medication.
Today would turn out to be a bit of a learning curve. We learned the importance of the interpreters for the healthcare professionals, to provide the best care and most efficient service, and the importance of a waiting room system, to ensure no queue jumping and a fair way of seeing patients. All patients ideally were to see a doctor, optician and dentist. The demand was huge! For the pharmacists, it was important to get to know our medications, the Iraqi and English ones. Sometimes google translate truly did come to our rescue! The only way to describe today was semi organised chaos, but I think for a first day everyone thrived in that environment and did a great job! Before we knew it, it was time to pack up the clinic and head back to the hotel. Luckily we knew the clinic would be open for a few more days so more patients could be seen.
By Zainab W