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*Mgbahurike Amaka A. and Nwoye Chinemerem Chukwuma


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disorder of carbohydrate, fat and protein, characterized by hyperglycemia resulting from defective insulin secretion, insulin action or both. DM is one of the major chronic diseases which affect millions of people worldwide. The burden of DM is attributable to its complications which may be acute or chronic and can result from poor management of the disease. Community pharmacists are easily accessible, and well positioned to render healthcare services. This study aimed to assess the role of community pharmacists in management of DM. A cross sectional study was carried out using pre-tested structured questionnaire among community pharmacists in Rivers State. A total of 200 pharmacists were systematically selected from the 20 zones of pharmacies. 190 Pharmacists responded. Of the respondents 127 (66.8%) were male; 48(25.3%) aged 20–29yrs, and 66(34.7%) aged 40yrs and above. 129(67.9%) had over 10yrs practice experience while 134(70.5%) had completed at least 10 modules of Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) mandatory continuing professional development education program. 98.9% (188) of respondents provide diabetes services. The services provided ranked in order of frequency of provision as: medication refill > counseling > monitoring > education > assessment > documentation. For each group of diabetes services provided the least frequent is as: counseling: care of foot/skin 35(18.4%); education: preventive measures 90(47.4%); monitoring: glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C) 38(20%); assessment: referral 23(12.1%). Only 78(41%) respondents document patients’ progress report data. More male pharmacists provide diabetes services than female (p<0.05), as respondents aged 30–40yrs provide diabetes services most frequently compared to age 20–29yrs and ≥40yrs (p<0.05). Pharmacists with more than 10yrs practice experience 129(67.9%) more frequently provide counseling, monitoring, and education than those with less practice experience (p<0.05). There were no significant difference between the diabetes services provided and respondents’ educational status, and completion of 10 modules of PCN mandatory continuing professional development education program. Community pharmacists in Rivers State provide a range of diabetes services at various capacities and levels.

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