This is Keya, the beautiful adolescent patient who inspired the concept of Vennue as a global hub where health workers throughout the developing world can easily access the training and tools necessary to provide patient-centered, quality pharmacy care.
Vennue’s inspiration was actually from two patients: Keya and her newborn, Shorna. Both of them hold a universal human right to safe and effective health services.
When we met Keya and Shorna in rural Bangladesh, we realized there was a significant gap in the health system: standard-based pharmacy practices. If we look closely at the photo, it reveals Keya’s enormous responsibilities. She is holding not only her newborn but also a bottle of medicine. At the age of 12.
Keya’s situation raises important questions:
Is she returning home alone from a local clinic or pharmacy? Does she have the information she needs and deserves about raising a newborn as well as administering medicine? Is the medication for Keya or Shorna? Does she have any ongoing support from healthcare providers and family?
Keya led us to realize that patients and health professionals in resource-poor communities need our help navigating the health system, and any improvements to that system must include relevant best practices in pharmaceutical care. Access to medicines is critical and should remain a top priority. However, without proper drug oversight and adequate information, patients are at risk for unintended side effects, drug-to-drug interactions, increased morbidity and hospitalization, and even death. Access to medicines and access to information must be tied together.
We believe that any health worker dispensing medicine must have access to current information and educational resources; they must be able to counsel the patient and translate the prescription for effective medication use. We are the place—the Vennue—where pharmacists, frontline health workers, hospitals and clinics turn when they seek to upgrade their pharmacy practices.
Inspired by patients like Keya and the cadre of hardworking local healthcare providers with whom we have worked during careers in global health, Vennue was established to provide the training and technology necessary for pharmacists and other health professionals to reach their full potential as providers of patient-centered care.
We have developed a successful pharmaceutical care model that can be locally adapted, replicated and scaled out through effective partnership. Our work is underway in South Asia and set to expand in forthcoming years. Join us in strengthening the global pharmacy workforce, so that we can improve the health and lives of millions of patients around the world. Learn more about our model and our strategic interventions, our results and impact here.