Jan 24, 2021

67,000 More Helping Hands: An International Collaboration to Further Engage Pharmacists in Improving Primary Healthcare


An international collaboration to further engage pharmacists in improving primary healthcare.

Long term (chronic) diseases like high blood pressure are common and poorly managed, which puts a strain on primary healthcare. Pharmacists should be better engaged in primary healthcare, since they are often the most accessible healthcare professionals. This project brings together top researchers in the field to develop and test hypertension interventions led by community pharmacists in developing countries.


To establish a collaborative research program that brings together internationally recognized pharmacy practice researchers from four leading universities in three countries to improve and address gaps in knowledge translation in primary healthcare delivery by community pharmacists.


  1. We held a planning meeting hosted at the University of Sydney on December 1-3, 2014. At this meeting we discussed our overlapping research interests, international contacts, trainee availability and funding opportunities.
  2. We have decided to begin with a hypertension detection and management study involving community pharmacists. Hypertension is the most important risk factor for preventable death and disease worldwide. Community pharmacists are very well-situated to help detect and manage hypertension.
  3. We have had lengthy discussions on different settings for the proposed study. We decided that our priority would be to tackle hypertension in developing countries. To this end, we have the strong support of Dr. Norm Campbell, the past president of the World Hypertension League.
  4. We have considered a number of developing countries (Uganda, Jordan, and Indonesia) and have decided that our first project will be conducted in East Java Province in Indonesia. Importantly, the prevalence of hypertension in Indonesia is approximately double that of North America, Australia and Europe – about 45% and about 90% of those patients are uncontrolled.
  5. One of Dr. Krass’ PhD students, Hanni Puspitasari, is a faculty member at Airlangga University in Indonesia and she has led the project from there. There is also interest from Dr. Pirlina Umiastuti, a public health physician from the Faculty of Medicine at Airlangga University.
  6. Hanni Puspitasari visited the University of Alberta from May 3 – June 13, 2015 to develop the research protocol for the study and grant preparation.

Selected outcomes

  • Held WUN Grant Planning Workshop at the University of Sydney, December 2014.