JSI RESOURCES: Publications

Drug Shops & Pharmacies: A first stop for family planning and health services, but what do we know about the clients they serve?


Private drug shops and pharmacies are a widely-used source for health information, products, and services, including family planning (FP), especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Throughout Africa, however, the burgeoning private sector is generally fragmented with little coordination and negligible regulatory oversight.

This document looks at the private provider landscape, particularly given that drug shops and pharmacies are overlooked in program design, yet they are an important source for healthcare, particularly family planning.

This brief is designed to provide a deeper understanding of how clients can inform market-shaping policies and strategies aimed at working with the private sector to meet FP and other health needs.

The information presented in this paper can offer insights for more targeted programming to expand quality and reach of FP and other health services through a variety of service delivery channels. Few African countries include pharmacies, much less drug shops, in their national health and FP strategies, yet these outlets already play an important role and could be further engaged to provide more and higher-quality services. JSI/Advancing Partners & Communities. 2017.

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