Pharmacy World & Science

, 29:25 | Cite as

The role of the pharmacist–voices from nine African countries

  • Nina VibergEmail author
  • Göran Tomson
  • Phare Mujinja
  • Cecilia Stålsby Lundborg
Research Article


Objective: To explore views on pharmacy practice in Africa as perceived by pharmacists from several African countries.Method and setting: Data was collected using pre-tested semi-structured interview guides. A total of 15 pharmacists from nine African countries were interviewed. The analysis used a phenomenographic approach where categorisation with regard to differences in expressed perceptions of the pharmacist’s role was made.Main outcome: Perceptions on pharmacy practice in Africa as expressed by pharmacists from nine African countries.Results: Four qualitatively different ways of perceiving the pharmacist’s role were identified and sorted into sub-categories under the two main categories A and B as follows A. Pharmaceutical information provider with the sub-categories: A1. The satisfied dispenser, and A2. The dissatisfied dispenser; and B. Health care provider, with the sub-categories: B1. The health care team member, and B2. The lifesaver. In category A, the pharmacist is described foremost as a provider of pharmaceuticals and information with a distinction being made with regard to whether the interviewees expressed dissatisfaction with their situation or not. In category B, the pharmacist was described as a provider of health care and two different approaches to this were found.Conclusion: The study describes different ways of perceiving the role of the pharmacist in nine African countries. It offers an insight into the situation of the African pharmacist that can be used as a starting point for further discussion and research on the development of pharmacy practice and for the creation and implementation of national Good Pharmacy Practice (GPP) guidelines.


Africa Pharmacist Phenomenography Professional role Good Pharmacy Practice (GPP) Pharmaceutical care Rational drug use 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nina Viberg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Göran Tomson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Phare Mujinja
    • 3
  • Cecilia Stålsby Lundborg
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of International Health (IHCAR), Department of Public Health SciencesKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Medical Management Centre (MMC)Karolinska InstitutetSweden
  3. 3.School of Public Health and Social SciencesMuhimbili University College of Health SciencesDar-es-SalaamTanzania
  4. 4.Apoteket AB, and The Nordic School of Public HealthGöteborgSweden

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