AVAILABILITY AND AFFORDABILITY OF ESSENTIAL ANTIBIOTICS FOR PEDIATRICS IN SEMI-RURAL AREAS IN TANZANIAAbstract
In this study, we assessed the availability, cost and affordability of essential antibiotics for paediatrics in a semi-rural region in Tanzania. Data were collected from 1 Medical Stores Department (MSD), 8 public hospitals, 30 Private Pharmacies and 30 Accredited Drug Dispensing Outlets (ADDO`s). The median price of tracer medicines and average stock-out days of per year were used to assess the cost and availability of medicines in the health facilities, respectively. The salary of the lowest paid unskilled government worker and national poverty line income were used to assess affordability of medicines. The median availability of the lowest-price generics of essential antibiotics for paediatrics in the pharmacies, ADDO’s and public hospitals was 59.09%, 62.5%, and 45.5%, respectively. At MSD, only 13 out of the 22 antibiotics were in stock at the time of survey. The median stock out days was 124 days per year. The median price ratios (MPRs) of retail patient’s prices for 20 generic antibiotics were 1.774 for 30 pharmacies, while for 8 generic antibiotics in 30 ADDO’s, the median of MPRs were 2.0097. In most of private medicine outlets, prices of some essential antibiotics were not affordable for majority of the population. The results indicate the need to prioritize key essential antibiotics for children during selection and procurement in the health facilities. Moreover, ongoing efforts by the government to roll out health insurance coverage beyond the government employees should be sustained in order to improve accessibility of medicines to the majority of the population.
Appolinary A.R. Kamuhabwa* and Kabandika Twaha
Unit of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, School of Pharmacy, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
18 August, 2015
13 September, 2015
22 September, 2015
01 October, 2015