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Pharmacy student's research could help travellers find best places to buy medicine abroad

A De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) student has combined her passions for pharmacy and travel by researching the quality of medicines and standards of pharmacy practice all over the world.

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Kerrianne Clinton took up her summer placement on the Faculty of Health and Life Science's annual travel project after spending a month volunteering at a hospital in Nepal.

Both experiences have proved inspiring.

Kerrianne said: "Travel health and pharmacy is an emerging market and it's great that DMU wants to make a difference.

"I like the fact it uses scientific knowledge to improve the lives of others."

The Pharmacy student headed out for her elective placement at Manipal Teaching Hospital in Pokhara after finishing her third-year exams, describing it as "one of the best experiences I've had".

Kerrianne said: "I was fortunate enough to have open access throughout the hospital, which gave me the opportunity to make a difference on a variety of wards. I even observed childbirth and surgical procedures.

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"I spent time in both the inpatient and outpatient pharmacies, shadowing and assisting staff where possible.

"It wasn't always easy, with a lack of resources and completely different ways of practising to the UK.

"But the experience was unreal and I worked with some of the kindest, most selfless people."

Back in the UK, Kerrianne took up her post at DMU supervised by Professor Larry Goodyear, an expert in the field of travel medicine, and sponsored by the International Society of Travel Medicine.

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She said: "I worked on a number of projects, one of which involved creating and distributing questionnaires to pharmacists all over the world. The responses allow us to gain an insight into pharmacy practice and the quality of medicines in different countries - which would be very useful information for travellers.

"For instance, if people are travelling abroad from the UK, as a result of this project we can better advise them of any regulations on transporting medicines through borders, and the best places to obtain medicine should they need to."

PhD students are currently analysing samples brought back from Nepalese markets by Kerrianne, who credits DMU with helping her prepare for both experiences.

The 21-year-old said: "I love the course! But DMU is not just concerned with the academic, they focus on the attitude you should have as a pharmacist.

"I feel I have developed as a well-rounded person. People commented on how professional and friendly I was in Nepal."

Kerrianne has been inspired to seek a hospital pharmacy position for her pre-registration placement year after she graduates next summer, with her eventual goal of setting up her own travel health clinic.

Posted on Monday 19th September 2016

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