Service Provider Knowledge as A Factor for Family Planning Commodity Availability in Private Class C Drug Shops in Soroti District, Uganda

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Uganda Christian University
Introduction: The major objective of the study was to determine the relationship between service provider knowledge and the availability of FP commodities at private Class C drug shops in Soroti District. These outlets can be a vital source of life saving FP commodities but service providers have low levels of knowledge and general biases based in myth/tradition on the effectiveness of modern FP commodities (Stanback, Otterness et al. 2011). Investigating dynamics of a possible relationship was warranted. Methodology: The study adopted an analytical cross-sectional survey design using quantitative techniques. Probabilistic sampling methods and statistical methods of data analysis were employed to establish relationships (if any) and evaluate significance for the phenomenon under study. Results: An average of 103 (91.96%, Max = 111/ Min = 85) of the 112 respondents had requisite FP knowledge and experience. Condoms were found to be the most numerous items, with 59 outlets (52.68%) stocking 1-30 patient packs, while 24 outlets (21.43%) stocked greater than 30 patient packs. ECPs and condoms were available in adequate volumes while COCs and POPS were only available in moderate and very low quantities respectively. POPs were the most out of stock items. Condoms were available in variety exceeding 2 brands but for only 12.5% of the subject facilities where condoms were found to be stocked. None of the facilities stocked female condoms. Lengthy stock-out days, sometimes in excess of 365 days, were reported. Conclusions: Whereas the study found that service providers had requisite knowledge and experience, it did not establish a fundamental significant relationship between service provider knowledge on FP with level of FP commodity availability. This could be attributed to the un-investigated interplay between the dependent variable and other factors such as availability of free public sector commodity supplies, supply chain gaps, client preferences, facility specialization, facility location and perceptions of commodity quality.