I am interested in studying the pharmacist’ s role in providing counselling to women using contraceptives. Through my published work, I aimed to present a model for pharmacist counselling on this topic. I have also examined the therapeutic knowledge of pharmacists regarding oral contraceptives. Gathering these data would help design future interventions that would be tailored to the barriers and facilitators that influence pharmacists' behavior.
Thorough my work as a UNESCO consultant, I am advocating for updating the pharmacy curricula in the Arab world so that graduates are equipped with all the knowledge and skills they need to provide women with the accurate and complete information they need to provide evidence based advice to female pharmacy patrons.
Providing correct and complete counselling on oral contraceptives is central to securing the autonomy of women in child bearing age and is a powerful tool of social change. The Middle-East is changing and having empowered women is key for this change. Pharmacists in the Arab region and whole world represent an underused source of health information. They are highly accessible and, if properly trained, can make a huge difference in the well being of women in communities where they practice.
My biggest challenge has been getting some of the stakeholders to understand the value of pharmacist interventions particularly in relation counselling female pharmacy patrons on oral contraceptives. My future plans include sharing findings from my research projects in venues were other stakeholders are present so they can grasp the full potential of pharmacists in this area.
The difference in contraceptive use among geographic regions of Egypt. According to Egypt's 2014 Demographic Health Survey, women in rural Upper Egypt have the highest unmet need and the lowest rate of satisfied demand for family planning. More research is needed to understand this. Ultimately, a theory driven intervention would be needed to bridge this gap. I would definitely be happy to see pharmacists playing a role in such an intervention plan.
I am planning on doing more pharmacy research that serves this cause. We learned from previous research in Egypt and the US that asking pharmacists questions leads to more information being provided to women. I would like to see how more pharmacists and women can have such conversations. In terms of education research, I would like to assess the family planning content in pharmacy curricula and the barriers of including such content.