Needs assessment and the development of teaching materials for pharmaceutical safety education for informal healthcare providers and villagers in rural northeastern Bangladesh
Keywords:Informal Healthcare Providers, Village Doctors, Bangladesh, Pregnancy, Medication Safety, Medicine Sellers
Context: Rural Bangladeshi villagers rely on informal healthcare providers, including private medicine sellers, who lack formal pharmaceutical training. Services provided by these practitioners may have harmful consequences due to misprescription. We developed a pilot programme to educate villagers, medicine sellers, and informal health providers about pharmaceutical safety for vulnerable citizens.
Programme Description: We identified villages in Sylhet and conducted qualitative interviews of villagers, private medicine sellers, and non-governmental organisation (NGO) workers to determine patterns of misprescription and cases in which medications caused harm as formative work for a pilot medication safety education programme for villagers and informal providers.
Evaluation: Based on our results, we created educational flyers about pharmaceutical safety and produced a skit to be performed at community centres for informal healthcare providers, medicine sellers, and villagers.
Future Plans: Educational materials will be distributed in the pilot areas and future pre- and post-test knowledge assessments will be conducted among villagers, medicine sellers, and informal providers. If successful, additional materials will be created to address other pharmaceutical safety topics and the pilot program could be expanded to other NGO work regions.
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