Prevalence and Management of Sexually Transmitted Infections in Community Pharmacies in Yenagoa Bayelsa State: A Potentially Under-Utilized HIV Prevention Strategy
Keywords:sexually transmitted infections, Community Pharmacist, Bayelsa, Yenagoa
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are mainly transmitted from person-to-person mostly through sexual contact. There are several microorganisms that account for STIs such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. This study investigated prevalence, pattern of STIs treatment, knowledge, and awareness of STIs among the community pharmacists. A purposive or judgmental sampling technique was used to recruit the community Pharmacist (CPs). Self – report questionnaire, was employed as research tools to achieve the objectives of the study. Ethical approval and permissions were approved by the Bayelsa State Ministry of Health, Ethics Committee, and Community Pharmacist Association, Bayelsa State Chapter. One hundred and thirty (n = 130) questionnaires were given out, and 126 questionnaires were retrieved. The participants were mostly within the age range of 30 to 40 years. There was high prevalence of STIs. Most of the participants had awareness of the antimicrobials to use as treatment of STIs. There was no statistically significant difference between years of practice and use of antimicrobial in treating STIs (p = 0.68). Ceftriaxone, Azithromycin and ciprofloxacin were the most used antibiotics always for the treatment of STIs. Single dose of ceftriaxone was often recommended. Common STIs reported were Gonorrhea and genital wart. There was no statistically significant difference between years of practice and those reported Gonorrhea and genital warts as the most treated STIs (p = 0.44). The younger age group (18 to 34 years) were most affected with STIs, and the female proportion was the highest with STIs. There was a statistically significant difference the those with longer practice experience and those that had few years of practice experience that reported the younger age group was most affected with STIs (p <0.0001). STIs most common side effect reported was genital ulcer and pain in the lower abdomen. The CPs often provided pharmaceutical services to their patients with STIs. There was a statically significant difference with those CPs that provided pharmaceutical service and those who did not provide the above related services (p < 0.005). The study clearly demonstrated high prevalence of STIs, adequate knowledge of STIs and the treatment of STIs was antimicrobial. There is need for enlightenment campaign among the CPs on the need to follow standard treatment guidelines (STGs) to treat patients with STIs. Also, the need to educate the public on the modes of transmission, prevention and providing information on accessing of condoms are recommended to reduce sexually transmitted infection. Lastly, the use of STGs for the management of STIs should be encouraged among the CPs.
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