Assessment of the pharmacist workforce in Ethiopia
AbstractBackground: Health workers are recognized as the cornerstone for the success of the health sector programs. In this regard, proper planning of the development of health workers including pharmacists based on evidence is critical.
Aim: To assess the pharmacist workforce in Ethiopia.
Method: A national facility based census of the pharmacist workforce was conducted in Ethiopia. Pharmacists’ job satisfaction was also assessed taking cross-section of pharmacists from six regions by applying a stratified random sampling method. A self-administered questionnaire was employed for the quantitative data collection.
Results: The study revealed a pharmacist density of 2.38 per 100,000 population. Across the different regions of the country, the density ranges from 0.66 to 29.88. Pharmacists’ satisfaction with their job appeared to be slightly above the average mean score, with an overall mean job satisfaction score of 3.0 (SD=1.11) in a scale of 1-5. Relation with fellow professionals was an item with the highest mean job satisfaction, while remuneration was ranked least by the pharmacists. Hospital pharmacists and younger pharmacists were significantly less satisfied than pharmacists working elsewhere.
Conclusion: This study has shown that Ethiopia suffers from shortage of pharmacists and their mal-distribution across regions was also evident. Moreover, job satisfaction of the pharmacists in the country was slightly higher than the average mean satisfaction score on a scale of 1-5. Thus, government and other stakeholders should work together to devise mechanisms that could improve pharmacists’ job satisfaction, ease uneven distribution among regions and
expand the future pharmacy workforce.