Engaging Nigerian Community Pharmacists in Public Health Programs: Assessment of Their Knowledge, Attitude and Practice in Enugu Metropolis
(2015; 7 pages)

Offu et al. Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice (2015) 8:27


Objectives: The Nigerian health sector battles with control of infectious diseases and emerging non-communicable diseases. Number of healthcare personnel involved in public health programs need to be boosted to contain the health challenges of the country. Therefore, it is important to assess whether community pharmacists in Nigeria could be engaged in the promotion and delivery of various public health interventions. This study aimed to assess level of knowledge, attitude and practice of public health by community pharmacists.

Methods: The cross sectional survey was carried out in Enugu metropolis. Questionnaire items were developed from expert literature. Percentage satisfactory knowledge and practice were obtained by determining the percentage of community pharmacists that were able to list more than 2 activities or that stated the correct answer. Attitude score represents the average score on the 5 point Likert scale for each item. Chi square and Fisher’s exact test were used to test for statistically significant difference in knowledge, attitude and practice of public health between different groups of community pharmacists.

Results: Forty pharmacists participated in the survey. About one third of the participants had satisfactory knowledge of public health. With the exception of one item in attitude assessment, average item score ranged from ‘agreed’ to ‘strongly agreed’. Study participants scored below satisfactory on practice of public health. Knowledge, attitude and practice of public health were not influenced by years of practice, qualification and prior public health experience. Reported barriers to the practice of public health include inadequate funds, lack of time, lack of space, cooperation of clients, inadequate staff, government regulation, insufficient knowledge, and remuneration.

Conclusions: Level of knowledge and practice of public health by community pharmacists were not satisfactory although they had a positive attitude towards practice of public health. The findings highlight the importance of educational interventions targeted towards practicing community pharmacists to improve their knowledge level on public health issues. Providing incentives for public health services rendered could increase community pharmacists’ engagement in public health activities.

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