Whose fault?

Sitting in his chair at his desk, leaned-in, his left palm perching on his left cheek, with his eyes picking on one or two vocabs, a young lady approached him in the pharmacy.

“Good day, Sir. Please, I’m here to test for malaria.” She announced. He paused the reading, sat up well, lowered and peered over the rim of his glasses to see who it was who spoke up the statement of business. She was a fine, fair lady in her mid-twenties. Her permed hair was held in a pony. Her lips were cute, and her skin seemed fresh and supple, but what upsetted the student was the fact that her red top cut low that her navel area was quite visible to anyone.

“Do you suppose you have the parasites in your blood? Or, perhaps, the smarting from the lancet needle amuses you?” He jocosely asked. She laughed, revealing her white teeth. Immediately, the smile that exposed his teeth turned into a plastic one, and he hid his!

“I have been feeling slightly feverish for three days now. And my head aches slightly, too. Gradually, I’m losing my appetite. Just yesterday, I puked up lightly.”

He slowly but persistently nodded throughout her complaints until she landed finally. Of course, her symptoms resembled that of malaria. The headache. The high temperature… But it is known that these signs and/or symptoms are also mutual to other similar diseases. Like, typhoid, pneumomia… And the best way to preclude malaria is to carry out the malaria test. He wasn’t used to the pricking, so he tried calling in one of the workers to take over. But she suppressed his urge with her alluring words, winking at the end. He could not say much in the end, and her last construction, though untrue as it was, swell his head. He needed to satisfy her claim! I guess.

“I want you to carry out the procedure for me. This is nothing difficult to do. And besides, you are a professional.”

Anyone would have done same; that is, mistake him for a professional. His crisply ironed white shirt was overlaid with a black tie. His hair was low and wavy. His face, round. And the feature that probably gave him the semblance of a professional was the lab coat; it had a pharmaceutical industry’s name embroided on.

So as a point of departure, he opened up the rubber case, pulled out a lancet needle, ripped off its cover, keenly glancing at it. He wiped with methylated spirit-moistened cotton to warm up her right thumb. He leaned in further for a better view, and finally tumbled unto her thumb, with the veins of his arm visibly competing for space. She screeched in his face, jammed up from her chair, looking daggers at him, while tears run down her cheeks, landing on her lips and then into her mouth. She swallowed!… Concerning the result, she tested positive.

But I ask you, was it the student’s fault?

Advertisements

Love Under Knife!

Outside the operating theatre of a well-known government hospital at the center of town, two armed escorts stood guarding the room as two doctors bent over the open abdomen of the young son of the wealthy minister. The surgery was thought to be a simple, uncomplicated one, and was to last for about an hour, but then an hour passed, beads of nervous sweats covered the foreheads of the doctors, and when it became apparent that things were going askew was when distressed Dr. Salimah pulled from her hands gloves covered in blood and walked out of the theater. She washed both her hands quickly. The surgery was going to be a success, a senior colleague had assured her. He had said it was uncomplicated and with no risks. But few minutes in, just after she tore him with a scalpel, she had seen otherwise, the risks were elegant and numerous.

“I need you now!” she said barging into the empty office of her senior colleague.

“Oh no!” she exclaimed, as she found it empty. She went into the medical directors’ office, when she barged in he sat uprightly displaying discomfort at the sudden intrusion.

“Aren’t you supposed to be operating?” he asked.

“I need your help. Please, I do not have time.”

The old man frowned, he hadn’t planned for any of this today. If for anything, she should know he was retired, but he did not need to take a second look at her to know she was desperate and that it was a life and death situation. He went with her and on their way, she briefed him on the case.

“He is going to wake up any moment from now,” the student doctor said as they entered. He managed to hide well his panicking. Dr. Salimah watched intently as the medical director took over; his hands moved mechanically and meticulously. Even after watching him all this years, to her it remained a wonder. And in thirty minutes, the surgery was over and a success. Dr. Salimah could not thank him enough, and behind closed doors she gave him a kiss on the cheek but this time it was a kiss given to a father by the daughter. But soon after, things went acrid as he demanded to know what happened.

“Salimah, you don’t venture into things you can’t handle. Know all the risks before you get involved.”

“I really thought I could handle it.”

“After all these years and you still make assumptions… Salimah, it’s either you can or cannot! Call a spade, a spade especially when dealing with a person’s life.”

“I__”

“No more excuses, it is better you stay away from the theater; just be a doctor my dear. Remember there is no best doctor; there are only good doctors.”

“But you know, I can do it. I handle my cases very well and I am sure that was why I was recommended to do this one. What happened there was that this case was not well defined. You know I am good, Dad. I am just like you.”

“I see the kind of cases you’re interested in. You like wealthy people who can fill your pocket and give you a name. Salimah, you are not a politician, and these wealthy people can destroy you with your own knife. Remember, a doctor doesn’t save lives because of name or fame and it’s always better to count the number of lives you’ve lost than those you have saved.”

“I don’t know why you think of me this way, I do all this for fame? I really want to help and it’s because I can.”

“You can leave my office now, and I never want to see you running in here, like a man whose house has been set on fire. Leave.”

Salimah stood, and at the door she said with a forced half-smile, “It will never repeat itself again, Dad.”

In response, the medical director peered at her from under his round glasses and when she shut door behind her, he slumped into his chair, pulled the glasses out of his tired eyes and began to rub them, at his age he could only give advice and as always, watch it go neglected.

Salimah exhaled deeply as she sat on her office chair. Agitated, she picked up her cellphone which was lying idly and her eyes shone as she read the message her fiancé sent.

Hello sal, I know you might be busy but I wanted to let you know that my flight landed safely at Mutamba airport 9; 00pm. That means I will be seeing you soon. I hope it is easy for you to tell that I can’t wait to see that lovely face of yours.

She checked the time and smiled. She also couldn’t wait to see him, especially to tell him what her father had just said to her. She fought the urge to call him. It had been a long two weeks without him, but it was finally over. She read the message again and when she managed to stop smiling, she called her senior colleague. It went to voice mail severally. The medical director would be more than upset if he knew that it was him who set her up to perform a surgery which hadn’t been approved of, and suddenly she felt very silly for believing that he was looking out for her by placing her to do a simple surgery for such wealthy people.

………………

When Muzi’s first flight landed and his feet touched the ground, he wanted to call first the person that had been on his mind all the while, but he thought a text would suffice, so he sent Salimah a message. He really couldn’t wait to see her, and expected that the only two things that would delay their embrace was waiting to pick up his luggage from the carousel and the congested traffic he would face on his way to the hospital. Apart from these, he expected nothing else. But now that he was inside the terminal, it was a different ball game; there was a long- standing queue and words were going around that there were doing some screening. No one knew what it was for at first, till two people were asked to step aside. When they asked why, they were told they were suspected for having the Ebola virus. While one insisted that they were mistaken, the other was more concerned with what the virus was and how they were very sure he had it. At the end they were led away.

When Muzi saw what was going on, he grew a bit worried. If people who boarded the same flight as he had it, then how could he be so sure he was free of the virus. He had heard little of the recent outbreak, but by then he was already out of the country. If it happened earlier, he would have suspended his trip for the time being till the whole thing was over, if it would ever be over.

People in the queue were either avoiding to stand directly in front of the screen; while some allowed others to go before them. The panic was inevitable and Muzi thought that any more delay would make him sick. Nervously he had brought the back of his hand severally to his neck. He was warm not hot, or maybe he was hotter than normal. He couldn’t be sure. He continued this act until he found himself in front of the line. It was finally his turn. Now he would know for sure. Anxiously he stepped in front of the computer screen and waited. There were no hands coming to grab him; instead, the lady behind the desktop told him to proceed. As he crossed he let out an amount of air he hadn’t been aware he was holding back and, even as he walked away, a small part of him expected someone to yell after him to come back, if possible hit him to the ground and hurdle him away like a criminal, or like the virus itself. His last flight and he would finally be able to see her. He couldn’t wait to kiss away the tiredness off her eyelids, and make her laugh-subtle medicine for her stress!

He was eager, in every possible way. It wasn’t a connecting flight, so he planned to pay for his next flight before he boarded. Thankfully, it was a local flight so he had no worries of immigration delay.

…………

Dr. Salimah checked her time. The nurses must have cleaned and dressed the young man. From the report on her system, his vitals were stable. Only God knew what would have happened to her if she had allowed things to escalate; no one would have questioned the student doctor. With the thought that things could still go wrong, she decided to check on the young man. But when she tried to walk into the room he was kept to recuperate in, the police guards wouldn’t let her in. According to them they had received orders to not let her go anywhere near him. Angrily, she went back into her office and dialed her senior colleague’s number and when she could only get to his voice mail, she checked in his office for him. The man was always grubby looking even though he wore the cleanest lab coat. It was something she couldn’t explain.

“Hello, Dr. Salimah. Do you mind I am seeing an important patient right now,” he said smiling. Dr. Salimah had learnt from her father that there were no important patients, but she understood what he meant.

“Please, I would like to see you when you are done. If you don’t mind I will be waiting at my office.”

“That’s alright, Dr. Salimah. I will be there.”

She closed the door quietly yet angrily. She overheard him thanking the minister of health for trusting him with his son. If it turned out any different she would be the one hanging on the cross, but now it was him taking all the credit. She wondered how someone could seem so nice and perfect with words and yet be the ugliest cunning thing alive. Resignedly, she went into her office and began going through several of her books. She suddenly remembered the recent news and thought how lucky they were that the Ebola outbreak had not spread to them but still with all that was going on it was the best time for her to refresh her knowledge and do some research on the course. ………………..

Muzi woke up with a start, he slept throughout the forty five minutes flight. A fellow passenger woke him up as they landed. On his feet he tried to get over his somnolence. His whole body ached and it grew worse when he got into the run down airport of his country. It always remained a big surprise to him each time he travelled and came back home. It was poorly air conditioned, and had no maintenance whatsoever; the floor tiles, cracked and dirt hid beneath them. When it rained a pool formed from the leaking roof, and some men in uniforms with a bucket and a mop tried their best to keep it dry. There was a long queue as screening was ongoing. Without much thought, Muzi stood in line behind a heavily built man who was speaking loudly on his phone. The call was long and it was hard for anyone not to listen on. On the call the he made loud, heavy threats, which propelled Muzi to move forward and soon he found himself in front of the screen. He just couldn’t wait to get home. Soon after he stood in front, a loud voice came from the speaker. He really couldn’t tell what it was they were saying. It sounded funny but soon he realized she was mentioning the number of another flight that had just landed and that all passengers from the other flights were asked to remain where they were till they were told otherwise. Before she could finish, he felt his hands being strapped behind him. They had found the first traveler with the virus! Two men led him away. They wore white overalls and gloves, caps on their head, and face mask. Muzi found himself down a long, narrow passage. When he kicked and tried to fight his way through, they said he was only being quarantined. He explained to them that he had been checked before and they were wrong but those words fell on deaf ears. They kept repeating the same thing

“You have a fever of 40 degrees sir, and you have to be isolated for further testing.” Before the men left, they drew blood from him. The room he was kept in wasn’t dark or strange, and if anything was wrong, it was the light which was too bright. He was grateful to be all alone, that they had not put him with others suspected of having the virus. Slowly, he closed his eyes as he didn’t want to think of anything bad happening to him. He believed they would soon take him out, but he wondered how long he would wait before they realized they had been mistaken. Stupid country, he thought.

He hoped Salimah was fine as he didn’t want her to be worried about him. He tried to keep the negative away. It seemed easy at first till he came to a realization that his body was trying to get rid of something. On his knees, he allowed himself to empty his bowels; he inhaled the foul smell of vomit as it seemed to have taken up the air in the room. He found himself struggling for air. Restless beads of sweat formed all around him even in the cold room. He pulled himself together and tried to stay still, but something was crawling on him: insects with tentacles. The same his mother complained of that made him think she had lost it. He fell asleep again.

………………….

Dr. Salimah waited but her senior colleague never came. Her phone buzzed on the table. She couldn’t describe or tell why she felt alarmed to see Muzi calling her. It wasn’t supposed to be a surprise but then it was.

“Hello.”

“Hello, this is the medical help line calling. Are you in any way related to Muzi Talih?”

“Yes, why?”

“We called because it seems you were the last person he was in contact with. We tried his mother but we couldn’t get to her.”

“She is late.”

“I am sorry about that.”

“Yes, what is it? Why did you call me?

“It’s about the health of Muzi. We wish to discuss with you in person, if you don’t mind.”

“Where?” she asked, and after the curt response, she drove to the airport. In a hurry, she approached the medical help desk frantically, and when she showed them her I.D confirming she was a doctor, they explained to her the full meaning of what was going on.

“Does he have any parents alive who should know about this?”

“No.”

“Knowing his health status, he can’t be in contact with the citizens of this country.”

“He is also a citizen, he has rights!”

“We are aware, and that’s why we would be transferring him to a hospital which specializes in such cases.”

“I want to see him. Can I see him?”

“I am sorry but__”

“I am going to be his medical representative from now. I have the license to practise medicine in this country. I think he would need a doctor.” They could only stare at her.

“Alright then.”

She pulled on the overalls, gloves and masks, as they began to read to her to avoid all bodily fluids and contact. When she seemed ready they took her in, but before they cautioned her that she would be quarantined if she were later found to carry the virus. Salimah wasn’t really listening to protocols, all she wanted was to see Muzi. He was the only one who truly understood her. She found him lying in his vomit. She lifted him up, wiped him and carried him to the bed. All the while it had seemed to her like it was happening to someone else, one of her own patients and not her Muzi. She watched him as he slept, she wiped sweats from his fore head, and imagined them walking down the aisle. She saw herself in a pink gown. She wanted to wear pink because she was so sick of wearing white all the time. He had opposed the idea. Right now she didn’t care about that she would marry him in any hue. He wanted two girls, one with a Zimbabwean name like Rue, named after a pretty woman who had helped them out during their visit there some time ago, and the other who knows what she would be named, who knows if those will forever be imaginations as reality laughed mockingly. She stood from her seat which was by his side and went to the kit they had given her then she took out a syringe and a needle. She was going to do that test again; they could be wrong, it could be a false positive. They might have read the chart wrongly. When she was done, it was the most glaring positive she had ever seen in her life. How was it possible that it would be him that the whole country wanted to keep in isolation!? How come the virus chose him to disfigure? Now, no one would even consider how caring he was, how kind hearted and impetuous he was when it came to helping others, or how sexy he looked when he switched from Swahili to Igbo and then back with a non-accented English, none of them his own language. It was not possible that she was sitting here crying, giving up and acting like a widowed woman that had not even been married yet. She would defeat this virus and get her man back, she thought. No one, not even another specie of living thing, would be able to separate them. She entered the laboratory and with a frightened look, the protected nurses and doctors turned to stare at her. She asked for help because she needed it. She managed to get a few contacts and placed a call on the research laboratory. They agreed to help her out, and even before they came she began carrying out different test. She was going through several books that night and when it was early the next morning while everyone was still sleeping, she passed by a mirror and saw her reflection, eyes from crying and reading different colors and sizes of texts on books at a time. He would be awake by now, but she was afraid she might cry if she saw that his enthusiastic and loving spirit had been broken by this epidemic. She had seen it happen many times. How people changed when they were diagnosed of an incurable disease. It was as if darkness seeped into their window instead of light, and instead of seeing colored petals of a flower they saw brown paper-back withered leaves. They became unsure if they were happy or just had to be for sake of relatives and friends. She didn’t want to hear words from Muzi that he thought she wanted to hear. She wanted to know how he truly felt. As the morning came, her mind kept spiraling with different thoughts. She wished she could move him away from here. These people don’t really care-He was an experiment. But then what, being an experiment was better than being nothing, or not there, at least things could get better as an experiment.

…………………..

When Muzi awoke the second time that night, he was almost certain that Salimah had been in his room, maybe it had been a dream, he thought. Suddenly it all started again: his bowel movements were incontrollable; sickly, he bent over a wall vomiting and stooling. He felt ashamed of himself and didn’t know why. If he slept another night here, then it was certain he had the virus and they were keeping him isolated; it also meant he was going to die and things had come to an end for him. He remembered his father’s words,

“death was a foreign thought to a healthy man, but it was a sick man’s only thought. For a sick man, one of the two unknowns of death had been solved. One unknown was when, and the other was how. For the sick man knew how and only wondered when but healthy people scarcely thought of death since they never knew how.”

He knew how. Dr. Salimah and the set of foreign doctors working in the research laboratory entered the room. Muzi was surprised when he first saw her, but his joy dulled when he saw she was avoiding his gaze. She must think I am pitiable. She can’t stand a sight of a man crumpled like a withering vegetable. She feels different about me. His thoughts grew heavy like that of a soldier on the battle ground. In his case, he was without the respect of a soldier; clownish; laughable; and without honor.

“How are you?” A male doctor asked peering at him.

“I am okay,” he replied, frightened at the sound of his own voice.

“We are here to help you. Tell us how you feel?”

Muzi explained to them how tired he felt, even though he received several fluids. He was uneasy, had frequent stools and grew very hot when he was indeed cold. His eyes throughout the discussion however remained on Dr. Salimah. The mere thought that she was here with him was soothing. He was reminded of how selfless she was when it came to her profession. Something her father hated, but would never acknowledge. When the doctors were done, Muzi waited a long time before Salimah came to see him. She had removed her face mask and replaced it with a smile.

“How are you, Muzi?” she said flippantly, like they had both woken up to a great morning.

“Much better now. You are here, it’s so good to see you.”

“You too darling. How was your trip? Did you have fun?”

“Yes but not enough for this,” he pointed to the cannula stuck on both his wrists.

“Don’t worry about it, you will be fine.”

“I know I’m only worried that you’re not getting any rest and you look like you have been crying.”

“No, that’s just my eyes,” Salimah answered.

“Yes, bold faced liar. Does your father know what you have gotten yourself into?” She laughed,

“My father thinks I am a depressed maniac, who is married to medicine.”

“Your father is hardly wrong.”

“I am going to hit you really hard, hope you can take it.” They both laughed, and then it grew suddenly quiet.

“It has come to my knowledge that I have the virus Ebola and that I would die since it’s incurable.”

“That’s not true, Muzi. Who said that?”

“The doctors you walked in with told me. They said you believe it can be cured and you have a hypothesis, but they tried it and it failed already. They are only trying to help.”

“Don’t listen to that, you’re not going to die. You know God, I asked him to keep you. I spoke with him this morning and I have a good feeling. You are going to survive. think like this.”

“Don’t worry, baby. Just look after yourself. You look worse than I do already.”

“I don’t care, Muzi. I just want you to believe that you’re going to survive, say it.”

“Alright, I__”

“Say it, Muzi!”

“I am going to survive this.”

“And I hope you mean it because you will. Now I need to go. I will come and see you later.”

“Yes babe, I will survive.”

At the door she turned smiling, “Yes and you better believe it now and get that nasty sarcasm out of your tone.”

When she left, he managed a genuine smile. She was right. It would have been better for him not to be born, than for him to die in such a horrifying manner. When the evening was ripe, forming an orange hue across the sky, a group of doctors came to him talking about an experimental drug. It was not curative, but could prolong life span. The side-effects were uncertain, yet it was one of the best experimental drugs available. Muzi felt he had no choice in the matter. It was reasonable that he accepted the offer as an attempt to survive for that was what life was about. He was given an injection first, before he swallowed a huge tablet. The disgustingness of it made him wonder why he was not rolling on the floor and throwing up from the taste it left in his mouth. When he told them that he feared he would vomit the tablet, they explained to him that the injection was given to prevent him from vomiting. When the doctors left, Salimah came in. She sat by him as it grew dark quick. Unintentionally, they made a recollection of the wonderful time they spent together, including bits of their career, and her family which he considered his. He told her of all the plans he had made if they had re-united under a different circumstance.

“Anytime you are here, Salimah, I forget I am sick, and that things are somewhat different,” he said. She held his hands. To him, her touch was the best medicine she could ever have given him, and even though she tried amidst tears to assure him that it would get better, and things would return like they were before, it still felt to both of them like they were giving their final good byes. Being a person of the moment, never has Salimah been inquisitive about the future, but all of a sudden she wanted to skip to the end of it. At 3:15 a.m., early hour of a Thursday morning, two Ebola-caused deaths were recorded. Before this, it was 2.a.m and, on his narrow bed, Muzi perceived death like a stench of rotten egg filling his nostrils. He turned on his side to get away from it to not notice, but it kept spreading, filling his two lungs. The end had come. He knew it, and waited with his eyes closed. Salimah was by his side. She stroked his hair, and held his hand then looked him in the eye smiling, and they began running, like one on a marathon, and with everything they had, they had to finish this race. Their baton exchange seemed to be at the counter where they got a boarding pass for their luggage. They had managed to be the last two to get on the flight. When the announcement came, they were about to take off. Salimah was smiling widely,

“You were never going to make it here without me,” she said. He knew she was right. Before 3:15 a.m., Dr. Salimah had visited the restroom twice. And at 1.am., she went back to working in the now empty laboratory. Her eyes grew heavy. As she worked, she dozed off. She had a fever as she slept, and then she woke up vomiting, but it all felt surreal as she kept on. Soon her teeth clattered, and her eyes rolled in. She went to Muzi, hovering in his room. She grew impatient, but she knew she had to make him come. He was going to join her. A young nurse entered the room, exactly past 3 in the morning and found Dr. Salimah in a pool of her vomit and blood; after this, another Doctor confirmed Muzi’s death. That same day, her father called. It was then he found out that his daughter’s disappearance was to help an Ebola infected patient, not an emergency as she had vaguely stated. The receiver on the other end couldn’t tell him what happened, that he was late in calling now, he only listened as a worried father demanded that they kept his daughter away from harm insisting she was out of her wits. He also promised that he was on his way. Soon, the medical director sat nervously facing one of the doctors from the team. The doctor explained that it was solely his daughter’s decision as a medical practitioner to do what she had done, and also since her fiancée was involved, it was understandable. Salimah’s father had not been aware of the later part and suddenly his subdued affection somehow returned and he grew worried. He asked to see the young man but they had steeled him, of what really had happened both his daughter and son-in law to be had passed on, minutes apart. He broke down like a child, rubbing his eyes, as he tried to speak about his daughter. His words came out muffled, amidst loud sobs, and those that watched thought it was a movie scene. The young nurse who discovered Salimah fought the thought of her own father weeping for her death. Dr. Salimah’s and Muzi’s burial was simple and unceremonious; no one, not even relatives, were allowed to go near their bodies. They watched from a safe distance as the bodies went up in flames. Condolences were sent from all over the country, some bearing admiration, others from families who had been through a similar plight because of the outbreak. Everyone had something to say, and different remarks were passed around. But soon after that, things grew quiet. Everyone forgot, just so the living could go on living.

What AUC (Area Under Curve) of a plasma concentration-time curve actually means

Statisticians have it legibly inscribed in their books that in any experiment conducted on a popuplation or on a sample of the population, the test of normality must almost always validate your work.

That is to say, majority of the observations (about 95% of them) should span three (3) standard deviation units on either side of the graph; half of the remaining 5%, each, should occupy the ends of the graph.

(The standard normal graph is bell-shaped! If you still can’t visualize, picture a cone sitting on its circular base.)

The 95% observations for majority means that in any study of a continuous variable of a population or sample, ninety-five percent(95%) of the population will be within a certain range of values for that continuous variable. Only few or very few of the population will be at the extremes, representing ‘exceptional’ values.

To simplify it, if you are to conduct a class exercise on students of a particuar class, majority of students will score around 40-69, very few will score 70-100, and very few will score 0-39 (yeah! It is an exceptional range , isn’t it?)

What really does account for these variations in the marks obtained by these students who were taught by the same teacher in the same class at that same time (assuming they were all in class?) Does the difference stem from the fact that we all understand differently? Or, perhaps, we read different books?

Well, I think a fact is a fact! Maybe teaching methods will be different, but the final result should be the same: we are all to understand right!

As a student statistcian, my curiosity spurred me on…

After mid-semester examinations, I did a post hoc anaylsis on quite a number of students (n=10) on what they thought or knew about Area Under Curve (AUC) for plasma concentration-time curve.

Five of them said same things, three of them said they did not know, and the remaining two also said same things but differently from the other five.

“Area under curve gives the total concentration of drug in your body.” Response from the five students.

“Area under curve gives the average concentration of drug in the body during a period of time.” Response from the two students.

“No idea.” Response from the three students.

************

When a plasma concentration-time curve is drawn for a particular drug administered extravascularly, a bell-shaped graph is obtained. To be able to apply the test of normality to any trial, the continuous variables studied must be fairly constant. In other words, the variable must not change so rapidly in the course of the experiment.

In the concentration-time curve, two processes act concurrently: Absorption and Elimination. The latter is dependent on the former. In that, the fraction eliminated is high if the amount absorbed is also high.

The time-axis gives the period our experiment is supposed to span. If we are assuming a period of 24hrs, then the Area Under Curve gives a certain value measured over 24hrs.

The process of absorption marked (+) because we are increasing blood concentration and elimination marked (-) because we are losing can be akin to these values, if we are assuming these values arbitrarly for the 24 hour period: +10, -5, +15, -7, +9, -4.

Since those two aforementioned phases occur simultaneously and differently (in terms of rate), then we can as well assume that the value obtained at the end of the 24 hour period gives us the average or mean concentration of the drug present in the blood. Does it make sense?

So in short, AUC gives or measures the AVERAGE CONCENTRATION of a drug sample over a PERIOD OF TIME. Omitting the time factor would mean that the concentrations at time t= 0 and t= 10 hours will give same areas under the curve. And that is veritably not true.

What then is the significance of AUC?

The plasma therapeutic concentration of Theophylline is quoted as 10-20 ug/ml. Assuming at the end of our calculation for AUC we obtained say, 12ug/ml, then this value is within the therapeutic range and hence therapeutic effects will still be observed during the 24 hour period for that particular administered dose (the initial starting dose). That means that the dose will be given once daily.

KNUST hosts 2nd White Coat Ceremony (WCC)

The faculty of Pharmacy hosted its second White Coat Ceremony (WCC) on thursday, 12th October, 2017 at the CCB AUDITORIUM-KNUST.

The ceremony, and for that matter the White Coat Ceremony, was organised to usher the currently 5th years of the undergraduate profession into their clinical years after four years of pre-clinical studies.

The ceremony which was moderated by Dr. Cynthia Amaning Danquah, a pharmacology lecturer, staged the following dignitaries:

FDA representative, Secretary of Christian council, Former Deans of College of Health Sciences, Registrar of Pharmacy Council, Provost of College of Health Science (CoHS), Preceptors and Parents.

The current Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Prof. Mrs. Rita Dickson, delivered an insightful speech after the ceremony was set into motion with an opening prayer from Dr. Joseph Adu, a pharmaceutical chemistry lecturer.

The Dean in her speech also expressed her gratitude to PSGH, Preceptors, and Alumni for their unwavering support in making the ceremony a successful one.

Going back in time, the President of the PSGH-Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana- unfurled how the pharmacy programme began and how far it has come.

“KNUST are the pioneers of the pharmacy profession. Pharmacy in earlier times awarded a diploma certificate, and then transitioned to the Bpharm (four years duration) which awarded a degree, and finally to the six years undergraduate degree, now called Doctor of Pharmacy. In other words, pharmacy has seen a paradigm from far-off patient to near-patient care.”

The president, despite aware of the main focus of the pharm D, entreated the students to venture into the area of research. “Some of you must go into research, identify new molecules and impact the lives of others.”

In his wrap-up message, he assured all and sundry, and for that matter posterity, that the pharm D programme has come to stay with us for good.

Professor Ansah, the past Dean of the pharmacy faculty and now a pro-Vice Chancellor, also did not go unheard. He acknowleged stakeholders, and flagged up two indispensable signatures of a pharmacist: Truthfulness and Transparency.

“As upcoming decorous pharmacists, key elements as truthfulness and transparency should be your hallmark.”

The insightful, invigorating but long discourses was capped off with the “moment of gowning and recitation of the pledge”. Dignitaries were called upon including parent pharmacists to gown the students of the ceremony.

Miss Dora, a student of the ceremony, gave the vote of thanks, and Professor Merlin, lecturer in the department of pharmacognosy, called the ceremony to an ecclesiastic end with a prayer.

The benediction was recited by Prof. Opuni Frimpong

KNUST ready to organise its 2nd White Coat Ceremony for its Second Batch of PHARMD students-#PharmDIsComing

When the certainty of science began to grow in the nineteenth century, scientists of this contemporary world decided to set themselves apart from the quackery and mysticism of the old in the practice of medicine. As part of this offshoot, they introduced the ‘White Coat’.

The White Coat Ceremony (WCC) is a ‘ritual’ performed by many health sciences to usher their final years into their clinical years from their pre-clinical years.

This practice lately has crawled into the field of the Doctor of Pharmacy programme, and this year the second batch of this highly-esteemed undergraduate profession in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology-KNUST- who are yet to graduate, is yet to enjoy another heart-warming White Coat Ceremony (WCC) which comes off this Thursday 12th of October, 2017 at the CCB AUDITORIUM-KNUST commencing exactly at 10:00AM, with the keynote speaker being Mr. Benjamin Botwe, the President of the Pharmateutical Society of Ghana, Ag Rectòr Ghana College of Pharmacists.

Pharmacy has, until recently, been industry- and academia-biased, with inadequate attention to clinical care. This has led to a number of lapses in the provision of quality pharmaceutical care in clinical settings.

It has been evidenced by the FDA that medication errors cause at least 1 death everyday and injure approximately 1.3 million individuals annually. This has become the problem of this modern era due to increasing complexity of pharmacotherapy.

Therefore, a new sect of individuals with different skills and improved knowledge are needed to assist with the delivery or provision of pharmaceutical care…

The long-awaited solution is now born- The Doctor of Pharmacy programme! This undergraduate professional degree, a six-year course, was born in Ghana in the year 2012.

It came not to dislodge the Bpharm of the old, but to fill it full. The PharmD seeks to provide extensive didactic professional clinical preparation as well as clinical training in various hospitals.

Yet-to-be graduates are poised and enthused to wax lyrical about the improvement in quality of healthcare that this novel paradigm shift in pharmacy will rain on its patients.

FIRST BATCH OF PHARMD AT WHITE COAT CEREMONY

If you are looking for justification for the pharmD, turn to the current shortage of primary care physicians- a problem that is predicted to grow in the coming years.

A team of PharmD is confident to fill this void and serve as valued physician extenders.

#PharmDIsComing

The New-Generation Pharmacist–World Pharmacist Day

While I was doing my attachment at one hospital, a pregnant woman in her early trimester presented with symptoms of nausea, and symptoms of a urinary -tract infection: pain in the abdomen, yellowish urine, etc.

After a culture and sensitivity testing was carried out, it was reported that the organism responsible for the symptoms was highly resistant to ampicillin but sensitive to nitrofurantoin, gentamicin, tetracycline, trimethoprim, and cefalexin…

Critical care was needed to relieve the pregnant patient of her symptoms, and there was about five different antibiotics to choose from that could resolve the symptoms and treat the causative organism. We (the attachment students) stood aloof and ‘unconcerned’. Not that we were unconcerned, but as naive as we were, we did not know so much about the antibiotics, and besides we were only in second year at that time.

The patient kept on complaining of pain in her abdomen. I felt very uneasy while I watched her shrill shriekingly.

“Does nobody here know what to offer to lull the pain of this patient?” I thought.

Just then, a man in a white lab coat, dressed in tie, hopped in. You could see he was in a hurry. He asked what the matter was, and it was expounded to him- He was the Pharmacist. Quickly, he asked for a cephalosporin (cefalexin 500mg q8 for 7 days) for the pregnant woman. She wasn’t vomiting so she could take the tablet. In about 6 hours later, the pain had subsided, and the patient was now calm. But she continued with the drugs till there was absolute remission.

We met him in his office and asked why he chose the cephalosporin group of antibiotics but not from the other groups aforementioned. In his own words, he said,

“The principles involved in the selection of an antibacterial must allow for a number of variables including changing the renal and hepatic function, increasing bacterial resistance, and information on side-effects. Duration of therapy, dosage, and route of administration depend on site, type and severity of infection must also not be overlooked.” He continued,

“the nitrofurantoin group of anitbiotics are very good class of antibiotics and help with urinary-tract infections. However, it has the potential of causing nausea (which was part of the patient’s complaints so the reason for its repudiation.

Gentamicin belongs to a group of antibiotics called aminoglycosides. They have the potential to resolve urinary-tract infections, but they are contraindicated in pregnancy (hence cannot be used) due to renal toxicity.

Tetracyclines are also a good class of antibiotics, but present with discoloration of teeth and bones- so-called teratogenic effects (hence contraindicated in pregnancy.)

Trimethoprim is an antifolate drug, however, pregnant women require even more folate for the formed elements of blood hence cannot be used in this patient.

The safest antibiotics to use in pregnancy are the penicillins and cephalosporins.”

Wow, isn’t it? Are pharmacists required to know all these, especially the side-effects? The functions of the new generation pharmacist goes beyond the ‘An)pa baako, ewia baako’ thing. Respect your pharmacist!

#WorldPharmacistDay #PharmacistsRock

It happens to all of us 100%

After a busy working day, you get to the house and as bored as you are, you feel being quickened. A look on your right is your partner. You jump unto him but his reaction is opposite that you experience on other times.

It quickly turns a knob in your brain. You begin wondering if your partner has no feelings for you again, or probably he is angry at something you might have done…

How hard and hurtful it feels…

Your partner is not angry at you! Your partner still feels the same way as he met you for the first time. Why then is he reacting differently?

The answer is, you are a victim of the famous psychology theory FAtE- Fundamental Attribution Error.

This theory unfurls how we humans give personality-based explanations for other people’s behaviour more than situational errors.

In otherwords, we tend to assume the way people treat us is a reflection of how they feel about us. But much of time, this assumption is comprehensively wrong.

In the above scenario, your partner may seem distracted. In fact, he is distracted. And all it means, in another way, is that you are not always the centre of his universe.

That doesnt mean your partner doesnt care so much about you, but that he thinks about other stuffs as well.

How then do we overcome this?

Accept what you can’t change

Accepting that it is a normal occurrence in life tends to safe us from such emotional worries. It is amazing to know that even the coiner of this theory more often suffers this theory too.

Never beat yourself up when you are faced with such situations. Accept that it is normal, and guys even impassively experience such things too.

Cross-check your assumptions

If you feel you have had a less-than-perfect talk with your partner, sometimes, asking your partner about their situation may lessen your emotional burden and save you from emotional derangements.

Accept that it is normal and bound to happen in lifetime.

Ebony warns Fans

Famous Ghanaian female dancehall artiste, Ebony Reigns, has thrown strong vituperative words at her male fans who send her pictures of their manhood to abstain from masturbating with her nude pictures.

The artiste who recently enterred into the music industry with hit songs like “kupe,” showing romantic graphics and lyrics has gained prominence and the attention of most of the public, if not all.

She said in an interview on 3FM’s showbiz927 on saturday that some male fans send her pictures of their manhood masturbating with her nude seductive pictures.

“I have received a couple of pictures of their manhoods with my pictures masturbating. I want them to be aware that I am not the one spurring them on to do this peccant act. Before they do, they must know what masturbation is about. I am not responsible for their actions,” she said.

Faculty of Pharmacy Welcomes Freshers

The faculty of Pharmacy has enrolled a new sect of individuals into its premises. The admission begins this Friday, 1st September, 2017.

Out of the thousands of students admitted into Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST, about 300 was slated for the Doctor of Pharmacy program.

The Pharm D (Doctor of Pharmacy) program, which is an offshoot and a build-up of the formerly known Bpharm, is an undergraduate professional degree program spanning a duration of six (6) years. KNUST is the premier university to start this program, with its first batch occupying the sixth level now.

The main aim of this program is to clinically orient its graduates, with the first four years serving as a preparatory phase while the last two (2) years serve for clinical purposes.

The administration of the faculty officially welcomes the fresh pharmacy inmates into the confines of the faculty this Monday, 4th September, 2017. As part of this welcome, they will be asked to pen down their names and other details for their registration and, also, some souvenirs will be issued to them.

When all odds are against you

If you tossed a coin myriad times in a gamble waiting for the tail to win  in support of me, then you would be waiting probably for eternity. I was just a quintessence of truancy. I virtually missed all except when lectures was to be handled by my academic tutor. Despite the unfriendly nature of the semester, I enjoyed a brisk semester by ricochetting from one party to another. I hardly missed any birthday party. 

Not that my alarm was faulty; my alarm had tintinnabulated with a shrill tone, but I had slept in profundity that I could not even feel the weight of a placard that had fallen on my face, and the amazing part was that the sound had lasted for almost an hour. I took a stimulant- caffeine- to help him stay awake throughout the night but all I did became dead in the water. I woke up after two hours when my exam for the day was about commencing. So I wore the shirt I wore the ereyesterday, slipped my foot into one of my old sneakers and hurried to the exam centre. It is amazing how all these menaces never inclined me to fret. 

With my equableness I strutted to join the queue waiting for my turn to enter. My first two touches, one on each side of my pocket, was a big wake-up call to me. I had left my student ID card in my cubicle! “Really?” I asked myself. I pleaded for consideration from the security man, but the security man did not grant me favour. I was only made to enter after I explained things to my academic tutor. 

I strolled through the lanes searching for my seat. I found my seat eventually at the back when one guy signalled me. I sat, shaded my index number and all other protocols. It was at the course code session I realised I had learnt a different course. My heart began to thump. I began to process my prayers, and fortunately or unfortunately for me, I happened to sit in tandem to the best student of my class, Samuel. I made the cross sign and sighed greatly. “B))dee33 ooo.”(lol) 

Coincidentally, samuel’s paper was skewed to the right so I could see unto it with no obstruction. Under twenty minutes, I finished the paper and did not even bother skimming through to look out for and correct mistakes. Not even a cursory look! Before, I had seen an inscription as “W23” on the top right corner of samuel’s scantrom, but it never pricked or tickled me. I stood and submitted my paper. It was then I knew the meaning of that inscription on samuel’s paper. 

Each one was supposed to check the footpage of page 8 for a secret code and then rewrite on the top of the scantrom. I had not done that. Quickly, my hands began to shake. My lips were jiggling in tetany. “Gentleman, what is it? Submit your paper and leave!” A satiric voice told me. I looked to see my mates and, then, up. Tears started to trickle down. I had copied wrongly. My secret code was Y12. What was I going to do?