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Marriage made in heaven: GP-Pharmacist duo foster synergy with mental wellbeing walks

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Married for 24 years, the GP and Pharmacist couple, Dupe and Baba Akomolafe, share their secret to creating the perfect synergy between the two professions and highlight the importance of mental wellbeing walks

In the competitive landscape of healthcare, strategic alliances can be a game-changer. Dr. Dupe, a General Practitioner at Christchurch Clinics, and Baba, a Pharmacist at Christchurch Pharmacy, married for 24-years cultivate their synergy through mental wellbeing walks.

Their recent 24 kilometres fundraising walk to support a local hospice – Farleigh Hospice, is one of such.

Having met Dupe first in 1994, first as interns at a teaching hospital, now married, the couple offer a comprehensive range of services, including pharmacy, private clinics, homecare services as proprietors of Christchurch Health-centre in Braintree.

gp; pharmacist; mental wellbeing walks, healthcare
Dupe and Baba in their clinic
Dr. Dupe and Pharmacist Baba Akomolafe in their clinic, demonstrating their synergy and dedication to patient care.

United by faith, a love for healthcare, and a shared commitment to service the community, their ‘Mental Wealth Management’ as they call it comprises of daily morning walks covering a distance of six kilometres.

It serves as a space to prepare them for the demanding day ahead in their respective professions and reflects their dedication towards fitness, community enrichment, and personal growth.

Dupe and Baba, prioritise mental wellbeing, a critical aspect often overlooked in the healthcare industry.

With significant changes shifting the face of patient care and the clinical services the couple -individually and together- face significant professional pressures.

Morning walks are like ‘lifelines’

Dr. Dupe points to dealing with GP burnout and rising suicide rates among medical
professionals as precautionary tales that make her prioritise her mental well-being.

She says, “I absolutely love what I do.”

Adding that despite sometimes needing to stay late to catch up on work, she consciously leaves any pending tasks behind as soon as she drives home.

This separation allows her to give her full attention to her family, ensuring that work stress does not affect her home life.

This boundary-setting strategy enables her to maintain a healthy balance between her professional responsibilities and personal life.

Baba also emphasises on the importance of daily walks that provide a moment of clarity he, too, has to deal with the pressures of the pharmaceutical industry such as medicine shortages and the perception of pharmacists as retailers instead of primary health consultants.

“Our morning walks are more than just exercise,” Baba explains “They’re a lifeline.”

Even starting as early as 5:30 or 6:00 AM, regardless of weather conditions these walks
are not just a casual activity but a demonstration of their commitment to their mental
health.

It also highlights the necessity of programming these walks into their routine.

GP; Pharmacist, mental wellbeing walks; mental health;
Morning walk in any weather: Dupe and Baba start their day with a walk, rain or shine, underscoring their dedication to mental wellbeing and resilience.

Listening to something inspirational during their walks helps kickstart the day.

“It takes our minds away from the pressure and allows us to think from a higher perspective,” Baba adds to underscore their devotion to building resilience and exercise the mind and the body.

For many years, Dupe has been doing a 24-kilometre yearly charity walk on her own.

She is passionate about women’s health, fitness, and encourages the team at their Christchurch Health-centre to join her.

“I say to the team, we are not doing this only for fundraising, but also for team building and promoting our own health,” she shares with Pharmacy Business reporter Rudra Mulmule.

“So, it’s a win-win really.”

She spotlights raising about £1220 for Farleigh Hospice in 2023 and continuing her efforts this year, already reaching £1178 and counting!

Recently the two teamed up with Braintree District council in collaboration with other pharmacies to promote ‘May Measurement Month’ highlighting ‘World Hypertension Day’ within their community.

The duo’s commitment to community walks and health promotion is a reflection of their holistic approach to healthcare.

It extends to their professional lives, where they have created an enterprise combining health and social care.

The secret ‘PIES’ to Success

The couple’s shared reverence for each other’s professions fosters their successful business
partnership.

By engaging in candid discussions, what they fondly call ‘the bedroom and the boardroom’, ideas are freely exchanged without judgment.

GP; Pharmacist, mental health, mental wellbeing walks
Celebrating fundraising success: Dupe and Baba celebrate raising over £1,200 for Farleigh Hospice, highlighting their ongoing commitment to charitable causes and community support

This open environment to challenge each other constructively, ensuring well-rounded decisions showcases the importance of presenting a united front, emphasising solidarity.

Their collaborative approach leverages their diverse expertise, guiding their business towards success through shared leadership, and commitment to excellence.

Amongst the many ideas turned into mantras for their business is “PIES”.

Inspired by their faith, Baba has coined the acronym to symbolise their business ethos of Productivity, Innovation, Efficiency, and (job) Security.

These reflect in their successful campaigns for blood pressure monitoring, cholesterol testing, Pharmacy First services, COVID vaccination campaigns, and community outreach events with their staff members.

As they continue to navigate the healthcare landscape, particularly Pharmacy First which
they believe is a “fantastic idea” to unite the two complementary professions; Dupe and Baba’s partnership rooted in shared reverence and admiration.

This partnership alludes to the power of  joint effort for best community patient-care provisions in the healthcare.

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