Community Pharmacists, Participation In Immunization Services in Cross River State, Nigeria.

Abstract

Community pharmacists’ participation in providing immunization services is pivotal to expanding access to immunisation services especially in resource-constraint settings and bridging the existing gap in shortage of skilled service providers. Although there are several studies conducted on pharmacy–based immunization, the findings of such studies varies between countries and depends on the pharmacy practice characteristics of the area. Objective: The general objective of the study is to assess the extent of participation of Community Pharmacists in immunization services in Calabar Metropolis, Cross River State, Nigeria. Method: A descriptive cross sectional study design was used for the study. Data were collected using a pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire from 68 community pharmacists which were selected using the purposive sampling technique. Data generated were synthesised and analysed using SPSS (version 20.0) and results were presented in frequency tables and charts. Chi-square and Fisher Exact test was used to test for association between variables at 0.05 alpha level. Results: The result showed that 43 (69.4%) respondents were males, 49 (79.0%) were less than 40 years of age, 36 (58.1%) have been in practice for between 1-5 years and 53 (85.5%) had B.Pharm as the highest qualification. Most respondents 60 (97 %) provided at least one  type of immunization service to the public and the vaccines commonly retailed were Tetanus Toxoid 57 (91.9%), Rabies vaccine 36 (58.1%) and Hepatitis B vaccine 9 (14.5%). Majority of the respondents 58 (94.0%) were willing to be more involved in providing immunization services. The immunization services respondents were willing to provide more were mainly educating clients on immunization 42 (67.7%), administering vaccines to clients 40 (64.5%) and engaging in mass campaign on immunization 38(61%).  The association between the number of pharmacist in CPs (p = 1.000, fisher’s exact test,) and years of practice (p = 0.149, fisher’s exact test) were statistically not significant to the willingness of the community pharmacists to participate in immunization services. Conclusion: The inclusion of community pharmacists in advocacy, education and facilitation of immunization is critical to improving and expanding immunisation services to the underserved populace

Keywords: Calabar metropolis., Immunization, community pharmacist, community pharmacy, vaccine


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 11-25 (Download PDF)

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