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Introduction: Public health aims at assuring conditions in which people can be healthy. The relationship between public health and pharmacy, at the provider or “micro” level of practice, creates direct patient specific interventions for improving community health status. This study evaluated the public health activities carried out in community pharmacies located in four local government areas of Lagos State, Nigeria.
Method: This study was a cross- sectional and prospective survey of 100 community pharmacies conveniently selected in four Local Government Areas of Lagos State. Pretested and validated questionnaires were distributed to the pharmacists. The questionnaires addressed 8 pharmaceutical public health roles identified for pharmacists. Data collected were analysed using SPSS statistical package, version 17.0. Frequencies, percentages, medians and standard deviations were determined. Inferential statistics was carried out using Mann-Whitney U test.
Results: About a half (53.3%) of the respondents were males; majority (92.2%) had only the B. Pharm degree qualification. Data showed that, in both high and medium brow areas, an average of 70% of respondents provided the public health services. Respectively, 86.7% and 97.7% provided self-care services in medium and highbrow areas, representing the most prevalent activity; this is closely followed by counselling on how medicines work – medium brow (84.4%) and high-brow (88.6%); >60% provided leaflets on hypertension, diabetes and sexually transmitted infections. Regarding quality of care, general lifestyle advice, hypertension, asthma, and STIs scored highest. Majority (74%) of the pharmacists always referred the patient to the doctor when presenting with symptoms beyond their control.
Conclusion: The study revealed a significant involvement of community pharmacists in the provision of public health services in Lagos State, Nigeria.
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