Pharmacists learn how to reconstitute morphine

Categories: Education.

A three day palliative care
training saw pharmacists attend a morphine reconstitution session at Kenyatta
National Hospital (KNH).

This comes at a time when
this group of health care workers has been identified as core towards realization
of holistic care of patients with life threatening illnesses.

The team plays an important
role within a hospital setup in ensuring patients receive the right drugs and
dosage as prescribed by doctors.

Among barriers to pain management
is the lack of knowledge on reconstitution of morphine powder into
oral morphine for use by patients.

Leading the practical
session was KNH Clinical Pharmacist Dr David Wata who informed the participants
that accuracy in measuring the weight and volume was key to realizing an
effective solution.

“It is good to reconstitute
an amount equivalent to patient consumption over a given period to avoid expiry
of this important drug,” said Dr Wata.

He said that it is
important to account for the amount reconstituted, spillage and any excesses in
their records.

During the demonstration,
the pharmacists were shown the correct measurement tools/equipment and ratios to use during
the reconstitution process as well as the correct labeling on the storage

This is the second training
for pharmacists in Kenya for positive results in the ongoing integration of
palliative care into the health system.

At the close of the
training, Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association Coordinator for Pain
Relief Dr Esther Muinga asked the pharmacists to take an active role in
championing for palliative care in their work stations.

“As a pharmacist, you need
to take up your role, be involved and take charge in giving recommendation at
the hospital committees,” she said.

She said told those who
do not have a palliative care unit yet that there is a palliative care team identified
at their facility and they should meet them and champion the course ahead.

“In case of any challenge,
do get in touch with us and we will try our best to assist besides our
concerted effort to visit you at your hospital,” said Dr Muinga.

She thanked Treat the Pain
for sponsoring the training saying that it goes a long way in sealing the gaps
identified in pain management.

According to a post test results
issued by KEHPCA Programs Officer David Musyoki, over 80% of the participants
registered a score of between 80% and 90% showing an improvement in
understanding palliative care concepts.

The participants said that
they have been enlightened on the role of a pharmacist in palliative care and
they have gained confidence to dispense morphine and manage pediatric pain among other benefits from the training.

They said they needed more capacity building in palliative care to enable them provide comprehensive care and support to patients and families within their districts.

KEHPCA Executive Director
Dr Zipporah Ali asked the pharmacists to take part in pushing for change of
policy in their hospitals to create an enabling ground for patients to receive
the deserved pain medication and services.

There are plans to have a central processing unit for opioids for the country in future.

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