Objective: Assessed the profiles of medicine-sellers of an urban area of Bangladesh, their knowledge on STDs/HIV/AIDS, and their services in managing STD cases.
Methodology: This is a descriptive and cross-sectional study. In total, 201 medicine-sellers from 157 pharmacies of Tongi were surveyed. A self-administered questionnaire was used for collecting data to explore the profiles and reported STD case-management practices of medicine-sellers and mystery-shopping events to observe their practices. All the 201 medicine-sellers completed the questionnaire, and the mystery-shopping events were conducted in 33 randomly-selected pharmacies. In the mystery-shopping events, trained persons pretended to be STD clients and sought services from selected pharmacies.
Results: Ninety-three percent of the medicine-sellers completed at least 10 years of schooling. Most defined STDs, as only gonorrhoea or syphilis. Forty-three percent could describe AIDS. Ninety-six percent reported that they received STD clients. Of them, 72% percent reported that they referred the STD clients to a physician, and 43% reported that they provided treatments. During mystery shopping, it was observed that only 4 of the 33 (12.1%) medicine-sellers did refer the mystery-shoppers, and 27 (81.8%) provided treatments and counselling. The medicine-sellers maintained privacy but provided inadequate treatments to the mystery-shoppers.
Conclusion: Medicine-sellers in pharmacies provide services to the STD clients as a source of medicine, advice, and referral. But they were inadequate in providing appropriate information and treatment. For an effective programme concerning the prevention of STDs/AIDS, pharmacies as an infrastructure can be potentially involved, but will require substantial strengthening.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participants (learners) in this session will be able to: 1. Assess the profiles of medicine sellers of urban Bangladesh and the STD management practice of them 2. Advocate medicine-sellers' role in the prevention and management of STD/AIDS
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA