Factors affecting the process of supplying core medicines at Lehurutshe Hospital Pharmacy
Nabyoma, Johnson Mwebaze
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Introduction: A search of literature and the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports have shown the unavailability of essential medicines in public hospitals all over the world. However, the factors contributing to this unavailability cannot be generalised but rather traced to a specific setting for remedial action to be of any success. Objectives: The study sought to establish the trends in availability of essential medicines at Lehurutshe hospital pharmacy and thence establish supply chain management find other factors that affect the availability of essential medicines at the facility. Method: The study was a mixed method study with both qualitative and quantitative components. Questionnaires were distributed to respondents to capture the factors affecting availability of essential medicines and a data tool was used to establish trends in the availability of essential medicines at the facility over a period of five years. Analysis of data was through descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. Results: The results show that the most direct factors that contributing to the unavailability of essential medicines are lack of an accurate pharmaceutical supply chain management system, inaccurate data, lack of equipment and software to support the implementation of a good pharmaceutical supply chain management system. Conclusion and recommendations: Based on the results, it is evident that pharmaceutical supply chain management at the facility operates below standards required and that a number of factors have contributed to stock out of essential medicines. To overcome this, it is suggested that a complete overhaul of the pharmaceutical supply chain management system needs to be implemented.