Factors Affecting Community Pharmacists Involvement in Health Promotion Activities in Wakiso District, Uganda
Author: NSEREKO GODFREY
Supervisor: Lillian Nantume Wampande
Community pharmacists could be a great asset for health promotion practice given their expertise, authority and place which puts them in the center of community social networks. Despite this advantage, the opportunity of involving this expert group has not been fully exploited. In addition, no information about the nature and level of involvement in health promotion has been documented in the Uganda context. This study therefore sought to determine actual health promotion activities pharmacists engage in and how often they engage in these activities. The study also sought to understand what influences their involvement in these health promotion activities.
A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among 61 community pharmacists to generate insights into their involvement in health promotion activities. This study found out that community pharmacists engage in a number of health promotion activities but they majorly engage in face to face counselling and dissemination of key lifestyle messages like physical exercise, healthy eating among others. The study observed low initiative by community pharmacists to routinely engage in health promotion activities partly because majority thought that health promotion was not part of their practice. Community pharmacists do not provide time to community engagement activities such as outreaches and health campaigns thereby limiting social interactions beyond the community pharmacy. However, it is important to note that the current pharmacy curriculum put little emphasis on health promotion and community engagement.
The study recommended that community pharmacists can be part of the existing community health management teams so as to enhance their visibility and interactions within community networks. The current pharmacy practice in Uganda in a way differs and does not coordinate with the prevailing community health practice. Therefore, a more integrated approach to pharmacy health promotion would be valuable to create a sense of ownership and increased pharmacist engagement.