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Distribution Pattern of Community Pharmacies in Port Harcourt Metropolis, Niger Delta, Nigeria

Author(s): Ifeyinwa Chijioke-Nwauche, Mark Ogoro

Background: The primary importance to every society is tied to her citizen’s ability to access good healthcare services at a reasonable reach. Community pharmacies often serve as the first point of contact for persons in need of health services and therefore are the most accessible suitable platforms for accessing of healthcare services.

Aim: The study aimed at examining the distribution pattern and accessibility of community pharmacies in Port Harcourt metropolis to the populace.

Materials and methods: High resolution Google Earth Image, Geographic Information System as well as the Global Positioning System were employed in data collection. The overlaying and buffering analysis were employed to examine the Geo-location and the compliance of pharmacies to stipulated regulation respectively. The nearest neighbour analysis tools in the spatial analysis extension of the ArcGIS 10.4 version were used to determine the spatial pattern of pharmacies across the study area.

Results: Finding revealed that, pharmacies were clustered in the heart of the metropolis (urban centers) with focus on areas of higher financial or monetary/purchasing capacity (population) and an average opening corridor of 12hours between the hours of 8am and 11 pm maximum.

Conclusion: To ensure better distribution of pharmacies and ensure comprehensive healthcare coverage, emphasis should be paid on Geo-location in the approval of operating licenses, accommodating attributes such as financial strength, age and other vulnerability of residents.

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