Abstract
MANAGEMENT OF SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES IN COMMUNITY PHARMACIES IN RIVERS STATE, NIGERIA: ISSUE OF STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES

*Mgahurike A. A., Okorie U. D. and Alagala M. B.

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Sexually transmitted infections are a group of infections that are transmitted mainly by sexual contact or through congenital route. High prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is a major public health concern. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate how STDs are managed in primary care setting. Method: A cross- sectional study was conducted in Community Pharmacies spread across Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The study population was Community Pharmacists. Structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 210 community pharmacists systematically selected from 483 registered community pharmacies spread across Port Harcourt City in Rivers State. Results: A total 218 questionnaires were distributed but 210 were retrieved, giving a 96.3% response rate, which was used to carry out the study. The participants’ age ranged from 25yrs to 65yrs. males were 40% (84) and female 60% (126). 65.7%(138) of the respondents had a basic knowledge of STDs, while 9.5%(20) lacked basic knowledge of STDs. A total of 126 (60%) of the participants know about the World Health Organization guidelines, while 9.0% (19) knew of the standard treatment guidelines (STG).Only 38.1%(80) reported following the guidelines all the time but 20.6%(43) would use the drugs recommended in the guidelines. 53.3% of respondents reported that the complete cost of antibiotic therapy is 6000 Naira and above for a regimen of 7-14 days. Conclusion: Basic knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is high among community pharmacists (65.7%) but the practice level is poor. (6.7%) followed the guidelines for treatment of urethral discharge and (13.9%) followed the guidelines for the treatment of vaginal discharge. The remaining 79.4% did not follow the guidelines for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Keywords: Sexually transmitted Disease, management, community pharmacists, Nigeria.


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