PATTERN OF COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS’ SERVICES IN PORT HARCOURT METROPOLIS, SOUTH-SOUTH NIGERIA
Ifeyinwa Chijioke-Nwauche* and Mark Ogoro
Provision of quality health care services is a primary feature in the promotion and maintenance of the health status of any nation. Accessibility of the community pharmacies to the public places them on a very good platform for provision of services such as health promotion, disease prevention, lifestyle management, smoking cessation, screening of and monitoring of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension. A prospective cross- sectional survey was carried out in Port Harcourt metropolis to evaluate the type of health services rendered by community pharmacists using a self-administered questionnaire. Information collected include demography of the participants and types of services with special emphasis on HIV management, smoking cessation and vaccination services. The study revealed that a high percentage of community pharmacists render a wide spectrum of health services but only 33.5%, 25.3% and 23.1% provide services in smoking cessation, HIV management and vaccination services respectively. Additional qualification and years of practice were found to significantly affect the type of services rendered. Our findings reveal that provision of blood glucose measurement, lifestyle management, health promotion and disease prevention, education on medication were lower among participants with BPharm only and in those with years of practice less than 10 years. Findings of the study highlight the need for increased involvement of community pharmacists in the management of HIV, smoking cessation and vaccination services in the metropolis.
Keywords: Community pharmacists, HIV, smoking, vaccination, services.
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