MPhil study projects

The importance of a community pharmacist in improving drug adherence among adult people living with the human immunodeficiency virus and receiving antiretroviral therapy at Unichem Pharmacy, Gaborone

Student: Sudhir Kumar Gakkhar

Country: India

The role of community pharmacists in combatting HIV/Aids in Botswana has been understated. Despite government efforts to provide free HIV-related healthcare services, many people living with HIV (PLHIV) opt to receive antiretroviral treatment (ART) from community pharmacies. It is imperative that pharmacists should maintain engagement with PLHIV to ensure successful ART.

This study aimed to assess the significance of community pharmacists in enhancing medication adherence and to identify factors that influence it. Using the Health Belief Model, attitudes, opinions and beliefs were measured using Likert scale techniques. Participants were selected via simple random sampling from adults receiving ART at Unichem Pharmacy, Gaborone

Findings suggested that community pharmacists can enhance medication adherence by participating in HIV-related professional development, offering counselling, advising on supplement use, providing socioeconomic support, fostering friendly relations and elevating pharmacy practice standards. Recommendations included pharmacist skill enhancement, adherence to higher practice standards, cautious initiation of nutritional or herbal supplements, establishment of public-private partnerships and collaboration between spiritual leaders and healthcare professionals to address traditional beliefs that may hinder ART effectiveness.