Local Work. Global Impact.

Sonak Pastakia

Sonak Pataski leads the Purdue Pharmacy Program in Kenya which provides needed medications to thousands of patients with HIV, diabetes, anticoagulation, and other chronic diseases. His passion in international health began as a pharmacy resident: “When I was a pharmacy resident, I had had a previous experience in Kenya where we went for one month, provided primary pharmaceutical care and left knowing the patients would no longer receive the medications and care they needed. Although many people who have this type of experience get their fill and think they made a great difference, I left with a very guilty feeling that I could not seem to shake, Being part of an international program like that really made me want to come back and do it the right way. All the programs I work with now are designed with the primary intent of helping the Kenyan population in a sustainable way.” A key part of the Sonak’s work is training students from Purdue and University of Nairobi to direct long-term sustainable care system for patients. Sonak sees a need and then goes about solving it. Working in Kenya, he saw hundreds of street children (mostly young boys) in Eldoret. “Just passing by these kids and shooing them away left me with a very empty feeling. So we created the Tumaini Center as outlet for these kids to get off the streets and live in an environment where they can play, interact, and learn.”