Mobile authentication service in Nigeria: An assessment of community pharmacists’ acceptance and providers’ views of successes and challenges of deployment
Background: Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) is a mobile health technology deployed to hinder the retailing of falsified medicines to consumers in Nigeria. But, some community pharmacists reported that points of failures of MAS have negatively impacted their practices.
Objectives: The objectives of this study were (1) to assess the acceptance of MAS by community pharmacists; (2) to explore the views of MAS providers on the challenges and successes of MAS deployment in Nigeria.
Methods: A quantitative cross sectional survey was used to investigate community pharmacists’ acceptance of MAS. A validated structured questionnaire, based on Technology Acceptance Model, was distributed to 326 community pharmacists. In addition, a structured interview guide was employed to explore MAS providers’ views of challenges and successes of MAS deployment in Nigeria.
Results: Just about half (53%) of responding community pharmacists were keen on using MAS. In addition, 51% of them would recommend the service to other practitioners and 54% would encourage their clients to use it. The results of the study indicated that both awareness and perceived reliability played important role in the behavioural intention to use the MAS. The findings from the exploration of MAS providers’ views showed that the problems encountered with MAS (no response and wrong response) were mainly due to contextual challenges in the Nigerian setting. These contextual challenges like the Global System Mobile downtime, incessant power outages and limited ability of consumers to use the Short Message Service, all contributed to the limited success of MAS in Nigeria.
Conclusions: Acceptance of mobile authentication service by community pharmacists is moderate. Perceived reliability and awareness are important factors that affect behavioural intention to use MAS. The limited success of MAS deployment appeared to be as a result of its interaction with the local context, where it has been deployed.
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