Pharmacists' Perception and Practices on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Family Planning: A Quantitative Study in Bangladesh
Abu Sayeed Md Abdullah*, Md Azmal Hossain, Jahra Asia Hossain, Farjana Haq, Sobuz Kumar, ABM Nahiyan Hassan, Fazlur Rahman, Abdul Halim
August 18, 2023
DOI : 10.56831/PSMPH-03-084
Background: In Bangladesh, Pharmacists have an advantage over other healthcare professionals as they have easier and more frequent access to the public.
Objective: This study aims to address this knowledge gap and provide valuable insights to guide future interventions.
Methods: The study was conducted through cross-sectional quantitative methods in purposively selected eight districts from October 2020 to December 2020. A structured questionnaire was distributed among a sample of pharmacists, and the collected data was analysed using statistical methods. The ethical clearance of the study was taken before data collection. Sixteen trained data collectors collected 627 data through face-to-face interviews with the Pharmacists using a pretested structured questionnaire. Descriptive analysis was performed, and quality control and risk management were performed strictly for maintaining the accuracy of the data.
Results: The study found that about 70% (n=438) pharmacies were found registered, and above 77% (n=483) pharmacies were owned by Pharmacists themselves. About 85.5% (n=536) had knowledge on counselling of patients in pharmacy but only 62% (n=389) had knowledge on SRH-related counselling. The highest duration of counselling of patients by Pharmacists was 1-5 minutes, 66.2% (n=355). Only 48.5% (n=304) had knowledge on complications and 69.7% (n=437) had knowledge on the side effect of SRH medicines. About 64.6% (n=405) of Pharmacists reported hearing the SRH-related issues from patients before selling medicine. About 80% (n=501) of Pharmacists reported having knowledge on menstrual hygiene, 49.4% (n=310) had knowledge of post-abortion care, and 56.8% (n=356) had knowledge of Postpartum family planning. About 76.6% (n=480) Pharmacists had knowledge of maternal complications, where 75.8% (n=475) mentioned haemorrhage and 71.1% (n=446) mentioned eclampsia as maternal complications. About 90.6% (n=568) of pharmacists mentioned that they required training on dispensing SRH-related medicine.
Conclusions: Though A grade (Graduate Pharmacist) and B grade (Diploma Pharmacist) Pharmacists had little knowledge of SRH medicine dispensing but C grade (Pharmacy Technician) had no proper knowledge and practices regarding SRH-related medicine dispensing. Most of the Pharmacists were in C grade, so their training on SRH-related medicine dispensing is very much essential. The findings contribute to evidence-based strategies for enhancing pharmacists’ involvement in promoting SRH and FP services in Bangladesh.
Keywords: Pharmacists; Sexual and Reproductive Health; Family Planning; Bangladesh
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