Training needs analysis for pharmacists in Nigeria – A case study of Warri, Delta State
Pharmacists in Nigeria do not seem to exhibit the expertise, skills, poise and assertiveness necessary to function effectively as drug experts in the health care team. This posture could be due to knowledge deficiency. Bridging the knowledge gap could be an important step in improving the confidence of practicing pharmacists irrespective of the practice setting. The objective of the present study was to identify areas of knowledge deficiency among practicing pharmacists in Nigeria with respect to drug therapy of diseases of contemporary interest - hypertension, HIV/AIDS, thrombosis, cancer and epilepsy. A census of all pharmacists that met the inclusion criteria was done. Knowledge was assessed using a 52 item pre-tested questionnaire exploring basic aspects of pharmacotherapy of various disease states. Response rate was 73%. Majority of pharmacists surveyed had no additional qualifications. Even though over 75% of pharmacists claimed to be computer literate, self rated internet skills was below average. Knowledge scores were high for hypertension, diabetes and retroviral disease while pharmacists were found to be knowledge deficient in the areas of lipid lowering drugs, anti cancer drugs and anticoagulant therapy . Pharmacists with Doctor of Pharmacy degree and those in hospital pharmacy practice consistently had higher knowledge scores than those without further qualifications and who are in community pharmacy practice. There is a need for pharmacists, particularly those in the community setting, to undergo more specialized training in the area of lipid management, epilepsy, anticoagulation therapy and treatment of cancers if they are to meet the challenges of contemporary practice .
Keywords: Training needs, Pharmacists, knowledge deficiency, Nigeria