CITATION: Key Role of Drug Shops and Pharmacies for Family Planning in Urban Nigeria and Kenya

Meghan Corroon, Essete Kebede, Gean Spektor, Ilene Speizera.

Global Health: Science and Practice

‘Pharmacies and drug shops provide a rich opportunity for expanding family planning access to urban women, especially unmarried and younger women. In urban Nigeria and Kenya, drug shops and pharmacies were the major sources for most short-acting methods, including oral contraceptive pills, emergency contraceptives, and condoms.’

The authors note that ‘the low levels of reported family planning-related training by interviewed staff in these outlets is a significant area for possible program expansion and improvement’.

In many countries, women need a prescription to access oral contraceptives, but there is a growing movement for oral contraceptives to be made available over-the-counter.  The latter site says ‘Additional research suggests that requiring a prescription from a health care provider for hormonal contraception does not necessarily improve reproductive health outcomes, and that women [in the USA] are able to screen themselves for contraindications’. This is not likely generalisable to women in LMICs, where access to understandable information on absolute contra-indications is likely to be very limited.

Best wishes, Neil

Let’s build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge – Join HIFA: