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Abstract

CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH PROVISION OF ESSENTIAL MEDICINES IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND OTHER SELECTED AFRICAN COUNTRIES

*Dr. Sibusiso Memory Zuma and Professor Lebitsi Maud Modiba

ABSTRACT

Background Since the inception of democracy, the South African Government has identified health as a key outcome to be prioritised to ensure a better life for all South Africans as well as the achievement of the sustainable development goals. As an intervention strategy to improve the health profile of all South Africans, improved essential medicine supply and management was included in the Programme of Action to promote better life for the population. However, the negative media coverage on the stock out of medicines gave the public health services a poor reputation as service users could not receive the expected medication when they visit health facilities. Study Aim: To identify challenges associated with essential medicines provisioning and propose a framework to address the challenges associated with provision of essential medicines. Method: A qualitative descriptive, exploratory and contextual action research design was followed. The data collection was conducted through site visits and semi structured interviews targeting the responsible pharmacists who were purposively selected based on their expert knowledge and experiences in medicine supply provisioning from the eight of the nine provinces of the Republic of South Africa which is a developing country with limited resources for provision of healthcare services. Results: The study identified challenges and found that there was no standardised framework for provision of essential medicines. Based on the site visits conducted and action research findings, the proposed framework was developed to address the challenges in the South Africa and other African Regional countries. Conclusion: The proposed framework will contribute towards improving the provisioning and availability of essential medicines within the developing countries.

Keywords: District health service; essential medicines; framework; medicine supply management; primary health care.


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