In 2006, PSF started a project in Mali in collaboration with a young team of pharmacists. Having started the project with missions covering eight weeks in the summer, the new mission schedule changed to cover the entire year. Indeed, as of 2010, this project included five missions per year; or three missions with students for a period of four weeks each in October, January and April, and two missions lasting two weeks for September and May.
The missions were composed of three students with a pharmacist as supervisor. From 2010, these missions were included into the STOP internship program of the Pharm.D. of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Montreal. As for the continuity of missions, pharmacists of the current year ensured the sustainability of ongoing projects and developing new potential projects.
The Mali mission was essential to promote the humanitarian work of pharmacists and international cooperation of pharmacy students. We had several areas of involvement in Mali, in rural areas (bush) and the towns in the region of Bamako, the capital.
Staff training on stock management and the redevelopment of Pharmacy: Management of medicines and pharmaceutical products requires a team effort and this is especially true for small health centers where there are only one or two health workers. In remote areas, pharmacy management is rarely under the responsibility of a pharmacist, the depot manager must be able to manage all stocks of the establishment.
The pictogram project: In an environment where illiteracy affects almost 20% of the adult population and where the population speaks several dialects, delivering and understanding of pharmaceutical advice is a challenge. The pictograms are small illustrations to explain dosage administration and the particularities of pharmacological treatment. This improves adherence to treatment and aims to ensure optimal transmission of information so that the patient takes his medication properly to achieve the desired results. This project was implemented in several health centers in the rural areas.
Training on health topics with the local population or the medical staff: Several trainings were given to people, whether children, pregnant women or villagers. These aim the prevention and treatment of various health problems and health education. Scientific presentations were given to physicians, pharmacists and pharmacy students in order to discuss the different practices.