Syndromic treatment of sexually transmitted infections: a western cape community pharmacist study
Ward, Kim Lana
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This cross-sectional survey of 85 randomly selected community pharmacists in the Western Cape, South Africa. estimates that 200 000 sexually transmitted infections (STl) cases are seen in private community pharmacies throughout the Western Cape per annum, contirming anecdotal evidence that community pharmacies are a preferred source of STI care. This study also describes the views of pharmacists regarding their utilisation as STI care providers, and the treatment practices of those who currently provide this service to the community. The majority (74.1%) of pharmacists view their current role in STI treatment as under-utilised and 98oZ expressed a slight to strong willingness to play a role in the syndromic treatment of STIs. Pharmacists' knowledge of the link between HIV and STIs is associated with an increased willingness to provide STI syndromic treatment (RR: 3 03, 959/oCI 1.45- 6.31, p=0.0004). The quality of STI treatment among those pharmacists currently providing medication is poor, with only 13.6oh (n=44) of pharmacists prescribing the correct treatment for penile discharge, 6.37o(n:32) for genital ulcers and OYo (n:32) prescribing the correct treatment for vaginal discharge. The findings of this study underline the need for STI treatment services ln communlty pharmacies, and the need for a pharmacist training intervention in the syndromic treatment of STIs.