A survey that was distributed through the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and community pharmacies, and completed by 208 respondents, found that the participants demonstrated good knowledge of the health risks associated with some common destinations for Australian travellers. They also demonstrated an ability to give appropriate advice on the management of traveller’s diarrhoea and the selection of appropriate items for inclusion in travel first aid kits.
“From an Australian public health perspective, the pharmacists in this study importantly
demonstrated an awareness of the vaccination requirements for common destinations for Australian travellers and a capability to select appropriate malarial chemoprophylaxis for visitors to endemic areas,” said the authors of the study, which was published in online journal Pharmacy. “They also demonstrated an ability to judiciously and appropriately recommend the use of antibiotics in the management of traveller’s diarrhoea. This adds credence to the case to allow the supply of a wider range of vaccines, antimalarials, and a limited range of antibiotics for use in travel health from Australian pharmacies”.
Authors of the study believe that pharmacists could well play a larger role in the management of health risks for travellers.
As such, the authors of the study also called for further research to validate the findings, as well as for similar research to be carried out in other countries, as doing so could facilitate the development training resources accreditation tools and further development of the role of pharmacists.