Pharmacists as youth-friendly service providers : documenting condom and emergency contraception dispensing in Kenya

Authors & affiliation

Lianne Gonsalves, Kaspar Wyss, Peter Gichangi, Adriane Martin Hilber


Objectives This Kenya-based study ascertained whether pharmacies were an untapped source of 'youth-friendly' health services by determining (1) whether young people (aged 18-24) could successfully obtain condoms and emergency contraception (ECP); (2) whether contraceptives were dispensed according to national guidelines; and (3) how young people felt about obtaining ECP and condoms from pharmacy personnel. Methods This study used several methods to capture and cross-check purchasing experiences as reported by young people with those of dispensing pharmacy personnel. These included: focus group discussions; in-depth interviews; key informant interviews; and mystery shoppers. Results When in stock, young people were successfully able to obtain ECP and condoms from pharmacies. Counselling was sporadic: when it happened, it was not always accurate. Despite a lack of counselling, young people reported being satisfied with the quick, transactional interaction with pharmacy personnel. Conclusions The brief, transactional interactions between pharmacy personnel and young clients appear to be 'youth-friendly enough'. While there is room to strengthen the services provided (improving both accuracy and scope), this should be done in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the current interaction.

Publication date:


Staff members:

Peter Gichangi

Link to publication

Open link


Gonsalves2020_Article_PharmacistsAsYouth-friendlySer.pdf (open)

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