A needs analysis of relevant stakeholders on a short course in homoeopathy for pharmacy front shop assistants in the greater Durban area
Mavela, Nokhuthula Hloniphani
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INTRODUCTION: Homoeopathy is a medical system that offers a gentle approach to healing. In the Republic of South Africa, homoeopathic medicines are readily available in most retail pharmacies, hyper-stores, supermarkets and health shops. It is common and expected that in a pharmacy setting, one will find a qualified pharmacist dispensing medicines he/she is highly knowledgeable about, as well as advising customers/patients on the indication, administration and contraindications of these medicines. With this premise in mind, where complementary and alternative medicines are sold, we ideally expect qualified personnel dispensing and advising customers on the use of complementary and alternative medicines also not only conventional medicines. At the time of conducting this study, the knowledge of pharmacy staff was questionable pertaining to the depth of homoeopathic knowledge they possess, as there is limited formal training available on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in their curriculum in South Africa. It has been noted that, prior to the development of short courses, a needs analysis should be conducted. AIM OF THE STUDY: To investigate the needs of pharmacy front shop assistants when dealing with homoeopathic medicines with the prospect of developing a short course. METHODOLOGY: The research was a qualitative, descriptive, exploratory study. A measurement of views on what homoeopathy is, where pharmacy staff currently attain training on homoeopathy, and perceptions on the need for further training were conducted by means of a semi structured interview guide. Tesch’s Eight Step method was utilised for data analysis. CONCLUSION: The study clearly highlighted that there exists a poor level of knowledge of homoeopathy amongst pharmacy staff in the greater Durban area of KwaZulu-Natal South Africa, at the time of conducting the study. Despite low knowledge levels, the study was able to establish a keen interest amongst pharmacy staff on furthering and advancing their knowledge of homoeopathy to better serve the public and improve the quality of health care offered by pharmacy staff.