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Pharmacists’ Awareness of COVID-19 and Perceptions of their Roles, Barriers, and Roles of Policymakers: exploring the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
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  • Iman Basheti,
  • Feras Darwish El-Hajji,
  • Razan Nassar,
  • Samar Thiab,
  • Muna Barakat,
  • Mariam Basheti,
  • Alberto Berardi,
  • Bandana saini
Iman Basheti
Applied Science Private University
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Feras Darwish El-Hajji
Applied Science Private University
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Razan Nassar
Applied Science Private University
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Samar Thiab
Applied Science Private University
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Muna Barakat
Applied Science Private University
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Mariam Basheti
The University of Sydney
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Alberto Berardi
Applied Science Private University
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Bandana saini
The University of Sydney
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Abstract

Background: The coronavirus infection (COVID-19) was declared in January 2020 as a public health emergency of international concern. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA), like other parts of the world, suffered from several epidemics over the years. Pharmacists have vital roles to play to prevent the spread of this virus. Objectives: To assess the awareness of COVID-19 amongst pharmacists from countries located in the MENA countries, and to assess their perspectives of their role, barriers, and roles of the educational institutions and pharmaceutical associations in preparing them for their roles during the pandemic. Methods: An online survey was conducted to run a descriptive cross-sectional study in Jordan from 12th to 22th April 2020. The questionnaire was validated and put on Facebook for pharmacists’ recruitment and assessment of their awareness (20 questions with a score out of 20) about epidemics/pandemics and COVID-19, their perceived roles and barriers, and roles of the educational institutions and pharmaceutical associations. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS). Results: Study participants (n= 2589) had a mean age of 29.3 (8.2) years and 1329 (51.5%) were females. Most of the participants were from Egypt 819 (40.8%), Followed by Jordan, Algeria, and Syria. As for the sources of information about coronavirus treatment among the study participants, 60.8% got their information from the social media. Fear as a consequence was identified by the majority of participants (87.7%). The majority of pharmacists identified positive roles for the pharmaceutical association and pharmaceutical associations. Conclusion: Pharmacists from the MENA countries believe they got enough education previously about epidemics/pandemics, and the majority follow on the latest coronavirus updates from social media. Fear was reported as the major barrier that requires resolution by the policymakers. Certain gaps in the awareness about COVID-19 were identified.

Peer review status:UNDER REVIEW

09 Jun 2020Submitted to International Journal of Clinical Practice
11 Jun 2020Submission Checks Completed
11 Jun 2020Assigned to Editor
23 Jun 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
23 Jul 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
31 Aug 20201st Revision Received
01 Sep 2020Submission Checks Completed
01 Sep 2020Assigned to Editor
01 Sep 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned