Original Research

A cost-effective model for monitoring medicine use in Namibia: Outcomes and implications

Dan Kibuule, Jennie Lates, Harriet R. Kagoya, Phulu Bayobuya, Qamar Niaz, Timothy W. Rennie
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 5, No 2 | a213 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v5i2.213 | © 2017 Dan Kibuule, Jennie Lates, Harriet R. Kagoya, Phulu Bayobuya, Qamar Niaz, Timothy W. Rennie | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 March 2017 | Published: 15 November 2017

About the author(s)

Dan Kibuule, School of Pharmacy, University of Namibia, Namibia
Jennie Lates, School of Pharmacy, University of Namibia, Namibia
Harriet R. Kagoya, Management Sciences for Health, Klein Windhoek, Namibia
Phulu Bayobuya, Management Sciences for Health, Klein Windhoek, Namibia
Qamar Niaz, Ministry of Health and Social Services, Division of Pharmaceutical Services, Namibia
Timothy W. Rennie, School of Pharmacy, University of Namibia, Namibia


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Abstract

Background: Routine monitoring of medicine use is costly. Medicine use monitoring in most low- and middle-income countries is heavily reliant on donor support, which is not sustainable. Innovative models to close gaps in monitoring of medicine use are critical towards strengthening pharmaceutical services.
Objective: To pilot an inter-institutional collaborative model for monitoring medicine use in Namibia over a three-year period, 2013–2015.
Methods: An interventional analytical design that piloted an inter-institutional collaborative model for monitoring medicine use in public health facilities in Namibia was followed. Three key stakeholders – the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) division of pharmaceutical services, University of Namibia School of Pharmacy and United States Agency for International Development–funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceutical Services (SIAPS) project – collaboratively designed and implemented a concept model, tools and guidelines for routine medicine use assessment. The model integrated medicine use monitoring as a component of the annual rural placements of Bachelor of Pharmacy students at public hospitals. The pharmacists at the hospitals and MoHSS provided support and supervised the students prior to, during and after the placement. Each student undertook a mini-project on medicine use at the facilities which included data collection, analysis as well as reporting using the World Health Organization or International Network of Rational Use of Drugs indicators. These were subsequently aggregated by the university with technical assistance from SIAPS and findings reported to the Ministry. Data collected by the students on hospital placements were entered in Microsoft Excel® template for descriptive analysis for patient care indicators. All students discussed their findings with health facility supervisors.
Results: The collaborative efforts enhanced local institutional and students’ capacity on analysing, reporting and presentation of data on medicine use. A total of three medicine use surveys (MUS) involving over 1938 patients were conducted from 2013 to 2015. The local capacity to conduct medicine use evaluation (MUE) was increased among 74 pharmacy students. At least 15 public hospitals in 12–14 regions participated in the MUS. Findings reveal 83% of prescribed medicines were dispensed; 53%–57% patients were satisfied with medicine information; 50%–59% of patients felt they waited too long (consultation time of more than 3 h) before getting their medicines; over 80% patients did not know how to take their medicines correctly; 56%–80% of dispensed medicines were labelled correctly.
Conclusions: A multisectoral collaborative model is cost-effective in medicine surveys, if there are mutual benefits. Student placements provide an opportunity to build local capacity for routine MUE. Ministries of Health should utilise this innovative approach to assess service delivery.

Keywords

Medicine use; Monitoring; Cost-effective model; Namibia

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