Community pharmacists’ awareness and level of participation in Primary Health Care in Sokoto Metropolis
Background: Community pharmacy plays a role in primary health care (PHC) due to its proximity to and being accessible by the communities, making it a gateway to the health care system. However, the public under-utilize this facility leading to over-crowding of secondary and tertiary health care facilities.
Objective: This study was conducted to assess the community pharmacists’ awareness and level of participation in promotive, preventive and curative primary health care services in Sokoto metropolis, Sokoto state, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional survey of all the registered community pharmacies within Sokoto metropolis; Data was collected through the use of a self-administered questionnaire distributed to the community pharmacists in their premises. The data was analyzed using SPSS version 21.0.
Results: Forty (40) registered community pharmacies were surveyed and percentage response was 90%. Majority of the community pharmacists (85.2%) are aware of PHC services. The level of community pharmacists’ participation in health promotion (75.9%), disease prevention (64.8%), and curative (80.6%) health services were found to be high in Sokoto metropolis. Thirty-five 35(97.2%) of the respondents agreed that ensuring access to patient diagnosis and laboratory data could further improve their level of participation in PHC.
Conclusion: Majority of the community pharmacists in Sokoto metropolis are (85.2%) are aware of PHC. There was high level of participation of community pharmacists in primary health care services in Sokoto metropolis. However, more awareness of this participation needs to be created in the communities for maximum utilization of community pharmacies.
Keywords: primary health care, community pharmacy, community pharmacists