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Bashir Elgizoli and Anas Mustafa Ahmed Salim*


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate malaria management practices at community pharmacies in Khartoum city, Sudan. Methods: This is a descriptive, mixed quantitative and qualitative study that was conducted in Khartoum city, Sudan in March and April 2016. In the first part of the study, a piloted self-administered questionnaire was distributed to a random sample of 250 community pharmacists in Khartoum city. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 18 software. In the second part, individual, in-depth face-to-face interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of 13 community pharmacists selected from those who participated in the first part. Each interview was recorded, transcribed, anonymized and coded into themes. Thematic analysis was carried out. Results: The study identified that the majority of community pharmacists in Khartoum (84.8%, n=212) did not dispense antimalarials without prescriptions within three months prior to the study. Twenty seven participants (10.8%) dispensed antimalarials without prescriptions for the management of children or elderly patients. Artesunate+Sulfadoxine/Pyrimethamine (ASP) tablets were found to be the most commonly requested antimalarial medicine by patients and also the most commonly dispensed by community pharmacists without prescriptions. The majority of community pharmacists provided counseling for patients. Interviews revealed that the main reason behind dispensing antimalarials without prescriptions at community pharmacies was the patients’ inability to afford consultation fees. Other reasons include inaccessible and inconvenient governmental healthcare facilities and the lack of implemented regulations regarding rational dispensing at community pharmacies. Conclusion: The study revealed that some community pharmacists dispensed antimalarials without prescriptions. The key reasons behind this was the patients’ inability to afford consultation fees. Multifaceted interventions are required to address this problem including improving the quality of the governmental health facilities, monitoring of dispensing practices at community pharmacies by health authorities and increasing the awareness of the patients and the community pharmacists about the potential hazards of self-medication.

Keywords: community pharmacists, malaria, dispensing without prescriptions, antimalarials, consultation fees.

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