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Nitte College stresses on student participation in community services critical for honing competencies

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Saturday, March 18, 2023, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Nitte College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Bengaluru notes that student participation in community services is critical for honing their competencies. This is because the pharmacy profession is becoming more dynamic and the role of pharmacists is transforming from drug dispensing to be increasingly patient-focused and outcome-oriented.

In partnership with UNICEF, it is working to bring about a sense of social responsibility in young minds. The intent is to garner the much-needed experience in community pharmacy by imparting know-how on nutrition and immunization. 

Through a project on Social & Behavior Change, the pharmacy students worked with the communities to provide an understanding on how to avail health and nutrition services in Karnataka.

According to Dr V Kusum Devi, Principal, Nitte College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Bengaluru, there is a need for student participation in community. Hence getting oriented in the field particularly nutrition and immunization will help create awareness and inculcate leadership skills among the pharmacy students who are part of the National Social Service (NSS). 

Under the NCOPS NSS – UNICEF Unit, our students were engaged in designing posters and placards to amplify the importance of anemia management and effects of malnutrition. This was followed by another poster event on Poshan Abhiyan which focused mainly on spreading awareness to prevent stunting, under-nutrition and low birth weight babies, she added.

Our pharmacy students counseled the community and stressed the importance of consuming healthy, immune rich foods in the daily diet. A walkathon was also held in to spread awareness on routine immunization for children and adults. The students interacted with the villagers and distributed immunization schedule charts and educated the parents who refrained from vaccinating their children. They also emphasized the importance of taking booster dose of the Covid vaccine with the help of pictorial charts and pamphlets.

Further, tabulation of population health status for details on height and weight will help to determine the underweight and under nourished people. The importance of hygiene was highlighted to help control spread of infectious diseases, she noted.

There was a positive feedback on the project outcomes as it was a training ground for the pharmacy students. Moreover in an age of evidence-based practice, there is a need to implement to drive the need for preventive healthcare, said Dr Kusum Devi.

In another effort to awareness on cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment among the community, the Nitte College of Pharmaceutical Sciences teamed up with Cytecare Hospital a dedicated oncology care provider to highlight the need for early detection and faster treatment access. Here Dr. Kusum Devi, emphasized on the inequities in cancer care and the need to take the necessary action to address its prevention and control.


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