DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/issn.2454-2156.IntJSciRep20212836

Knowledge and preparedness of community pharmacists in the fight against COVID-19 in Zambia

Jimmy Mapenzi Hangoma, Steward Mudenda, Mpande Mukumbwa Mwenechanya, Aubrey Chichoni Kalungia

Abstract


Background: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has severely strained healthcare systems globally. Community pharmacists remain vital health professionals with unique roles in responding to symptoms, supplying medicines and providing health promotion in the communities where they serve. The purpose of this study was to assess knowledge and preparedness of community pharmacists in the fight against COVID-19 in Zambia.

Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted among 300 registered community pharmacists in Zambia from April to May 2020. A self-administered online questionnaire was used to collect the data. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data using the statistical package for social sciences version 23. All statistical tests were set at 95% confidence level (p<0.05).

Results: From a total of 393 community pharmacists, 300 participated in the study indicating a response rate of 76.3%. 97% of the pharmacists knew the common signs and symptoms of COVID-19, 83% knew the national guidelines for screening criteria and 93% were aware that a suspected case of COVID-19 presenting to the community pharmacy needed to be alerted to the national response team. Only 59% knew they needed to self-isolate and self-report should they experience symptoms of COVID-19. 85% stated that personal protective equipment was inadequate in the pharmacies they operated from. 60% of the pharmacists were prepared to participate in the frontline fight against COVID-19.

Conclusions: Community pharmacists in Zambia are knowledgeable about COVID-19 signs and symptoms including the technical guidelines on the screening and detection of suspected cases. Community pharmacists are prepared to participate in the frontline fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Zambia.


Keywords


Community pharmacy, Community pharmacists, Coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19, Frontline workers, Pandemic, Preparedness, Zambia

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