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Study confirms expansion of pharmacists’ role in hygiene since the Covid-19 pandemic

By Irish Pharmacist - 06th Mar 2023

Advice on hygiene given by pharmacies has widened from oral care to infection control measures, according to a report by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Global Pharmaceutical Observatory (GPO) published recently. 

A literature review conducted by the FIP GPO found educating people on hygiene measures such as hand-washing and disinfection to be a novel community pharmacy service during the pandemic. The FIP GPO also conducted a cross-country survey (India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Thailand) through five FIP member organisations (n=60). More than half of the respondents reported that avoidance of respiratory, viral, communicable, and food and water-borne infections were the most common “germ concerns” expressed to them by the public. 

The study also looked into current and future learning needs of pharmacy teams in the five countries. Some 58.3 per cent of respondents said they obtained information on hygiene as part of their continuing professional development.

“Hygiene — general and personal —
is an important aspect of self-care. The report shows that pharmacists and their teams can offer a valuable service to empower people to maintain health, and to prevent and manage illness. However, our study also indicated that the profession needs more support with learning about hygiene,” said Mr Christopher John, FIP lead for data and intelligence, and co-author of the report. 

The report, What Community Pharmacy Teams Need to Support Good Hygiene as Part of People’s Self-Care, is available at: https://www.fip.org/file/5479.

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