During the pandemic, in addition to the front liners, pharmacists were the first point in contact with the public. In an emergency situation, pharmacists played an important role in combating the COVID 19 disease. These community pharmacists extended their help in screening,educating and assisting the society during the public health crisis. The literature search revealed limited information about current practices and emergency preparedness in the gulf region especially Qatar. Hence, a study published in the Journal of Infection in Developing Countries investigated the current practices, response preparedness and professional development needs of community pharmacists in Qatar.
The team identified the first case of COVID in Qatar led to a complete lockdown and closure of many businesses except the pharmacists and food stores. Thus, it was believed that these individuals are ought to play an important role in guiding and directing the public for better preventive measures and the use of sanitizers for their safety. Moreover, the author investigated the developmental needs of these pharmacist to improve the quality of service and practice management.
The lead author, Hager ElGeed pointed out, “the community pharmacist served us remarkably in every emergency situation such as the 11 September 2001 World Trade Center attack, Hurricane Katrina, Thunderstorm Asthma event, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and the H1N1 influenza pandemic. Thus, the role of pharmacists in public health is pivotal and essential for promotion strategies and outbreaks prevention.”
Thus, the study provides a baseline for the pharmacist of Qatar on current preparedness displayed during the COVID 19 situation. Furthermore, Hager recommended, “to integrate service provided by the pharmacist with other services for wide and better reach to the public along with professional training and development programs.”