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Community Pharmacies As Possible Centres For Routine Immunization
Background: Nigeria has embraced the primary healthcare movement and has committed its resources to the provision of cost effective community based primary healthcare strategy which recognizes the need for effective partnership between public and private sector1. Immunizations are important part of this effort, especially the provision of the vaccines incorporated into the national Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) which has now metamorphosis to National Programme on Immunization (NPI) due to decline in immunization coverage. Community pharmacies can be involved in immunization to improve coverage as has been shown in the United States of America (U.S.A) that this led to great improvement in immunization coverage2, 3. The need to find out if this can also be adopted in Nigeria is the objective of this work.
Objectives: This study therefore aimed to have an insight into current interest of community pharmacists to be involved in routine immunization and assess their physical structures for possible adaptation for use in routine immunization.
Method: Sixty (60) pre-tested questionnaires were randomly administered to community pharmacists. Forty-three (43) questionnaires were retrieved for analysis.
Results: The study revealed that the use of community pharmacies as places where routine immunization services can be provided is feasible as shown by 95.3% interest expressed by community pharmacists.
Most of the required infrastructures to carry out these services are on the ground as shown by availability of adequate space (88.4%), stand-by generator (83.7%) and functional fridge/freezer (95.3%).
Community pharmacists (88.4%) expect to be remunerated for providing this service.
Conclusion: This study has shown the willingness of community pharmacists to participate in immunization efforts and the possibility of using pharmacies in routine immunization.
NQJHM Vol. 17 (4) 2007: pp. 131-133