Pharmacist conversation with patient on Antimicrobial Resistance
By Jongbo Olubukola.
It had been a long week I thought sighing deeply. I could feel the beads of sweat forming on my forehead. The weather was hot and the sun could be felt shining angrily down. Today was just as others, the long queue of patients to attend to was never ending and i just wanted to go home after my afternoon shift. I looked at the big wall clock straight ahead; I had two more hours to go. I encouraged myself to be strong or what else could I do.
Finally, it was time, for I could hear Pharm. Angela's voice saying hello down the corridor. I looked up at the line outside my office, just one more patient to go.
"So Mrs Black, once you adhere to all I have said, you would be fine in no time." I said smiling
"Thank you Pharmacist. I promise to do as required."
"Alright, call in the last person." I said as she stood to leave. I knew it would soon be over. An elegantly dressed woman walked in, she looked chic and this made me wonder what brought her to the pharmacy. When you find yourself working as a community Pharmacist, you come across a lot of cases.
"Good afternoon". She said in a musical voice as she stopped in front of me.
"Please, have a sit" I said as I motioned towards her to take a sit. "So what brings you here?"
"I was driving past from the hospital and decided to seize the opportunity. A few days ago, I ate out with some friends. when I got home, I had to almost sleep in the loo. I went more than five times! I guess it's food poisoning. A couple of people have recommended what to do but I felt the pharmacist would know better."
It was the usual of which a simple ampicillin would solve but before I could dispense, I had to be sure and requested for a prescription; the increase in antimicrobial resistance to treatment was alarming due to antibiotic misuse. She provided one from reputable hospital and so I dispensed the drugs to her; I was about explaining how it was to be used when she cut me short.
"Excuse me please. Are you sure this is going to work?"
I wondered what she meant by that. I was confused as she had professed saying some days ago; I was going to know better. She continued to explain further.
"I asked because I use this same black and purple capsules to prevent pregnancies. I didn't know it had other uses."
My face went blank immediately. I then told her that those capsules were antibiotics and not contraceptives. I took it upon myself to correct the mistake she was making. First I explained what antibiotics did and how most of them worked. I told her of the antimicrobial resistance problem we were facing in the world of today. How the wrong use and abuse of these wonder drugs caused us more harm than good. I explained that if she kept up with its misuse, soon, it would be ineffective for her. So I recounted the necessary advice of completing the required dosage regimen, not giving leftovers to a close one and all other necessary precaution.
It was a long day, I used Co-trimoxazole as a buffering example and after much talk, she finally understood the gravity of her mistake, thanked me for my time and elegantly walked out again all smiles. At the strike of six, I could leave content, that once again as a man of honor, I had dispensed my duties right.
MS. Jongbo Olubukola is to the subcommittee of IPSF AfRO Media and Publication office and member of PANS Nigeria.