Exploring the knowledge, attitude, and practices of over-the-counter medical sellers in Ghana

Journal of Public Health in Africa

Field Value
Title Exploring the knowledge, attitude, and practices of over-the-counter medical sellers in Ghana
Creator Simister, Sam Flint, Nicholas Webb, Joshua Nyarko, Obed Secrest, Aaron Lewis, Bethany Dickerson, Ty
Subject — Ghana; dermatology; public health; pharmacology
Description Background: Rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa face a high prevalence and morbidity of skin disease while also lacking access to dermatologists. In Ghana, where approximately 25 licensed dermatologists are available for 25 million people, community pharmacies, called over-the-counter medical sellers (OTCMS), were established to respond to accessibility inequities, albeit without equitable training.Objective: Our study evaluates the dermatologic knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of OTCMS in Ghana’s Ashanti Region.Methods: To assess dermatologic KAP, we created a standardized questionnaire and recorded 13 interviews with OTCMS in seven communities. Interviews were completed with help from Ghanaian translators and transcripts were transcribed verbatim, then analyzed qualitatively to determine common themes for analysis. Results: This analysis identified six major themes: i) prescriber qualifications; ii) diagnostics; iii) therapeutics; iv) economics; v) health systems integration; vi) care-seeking behavior. Analysis of these themes outlined many cultural roles and challenges of OTCMS, including serving as the primary contact for dermatologic conditions in rural communities. While possibly necessary due to the lack of accessible dermatologists, this raises concerns for potential harm in diagnostic error and misuse of therapeutics due to the lack of formal dermatology training. Conclusion. In rural parts of Ghana, the KAP of OTCMS play a pivotal role in assessing and treating skin disease for those who might otherwise lack access to adequate dermatologic management. Furthermore, although our study identifies potential issues related to the roles played by OTCMS, it also suggests strategies to improve the dermatologic health of many Ghanaians by enhancing education and healthcare delivery in rural areas.
Publisher AOSIS
Date 2023-04-30
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — —
Format application/pdf
Identifier 10.4081/jphia.2023.2122
Source Journal of Public Health in Africa; Vol 14, No 4 (2023); 7 2038-9930 2038-9922
Language eng
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Rights Copyright (c) 2024 Sam Simister, Nicholas Flint, Joshua Webb, Obed Nyarko, Aaron Secrest, Bethany Lewis, Ty Dickerson https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0