INVENTORY MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR ESSENTIAL DRUGS AT PUBLIC AND MISSION HOSPITALS IN MERU COUNTY, KENYA
Meeme, Shadrack M.
Okero, Dominic C.
. Muiruri, Lilian K.
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BACKGROUND: Essential drugs are important for quality service delivery in the healthcare system. Proper inventory management of essential drugs in the health facilities is critical in ensuring availability of essential drugs (ED). Despite the importance of the required essential drugs at various user points, about one third of the world’s population does not have access to ED. This is a serious problem considering that drugs take up a significant portion of the healthcare budget and availability of ED is critical in quality healthcare provision which is a priority of the Health Systems. OBJECTIVES: To examine the current stock control practices for essential drugs at public and mission hospitals in Meru County, determine the current storage practices for essential drugs at public and mission hospitals in Meru County and establish the current practices for managing returns of essential drugs at public and mission hospitals in Meru County. METHODS: Cross-sectional descriptive study design was employed in the study and it involved 205 clinical and inventory management staff dealing with essential drugs inventory management and use in four hospitals in Meru County, Kenya. RESULTS: Method by which essential drugs are approved and issued were mostly FEFO (First Expiry First Out) 36(90.0%) and FIFO (First In First Out) 2(5.0%) and was significant on the inventory management practices (χ2 Wald test P-value =0.011). Good inventory control practices were identified mainly in FEFO (First Expiry First Out) approval and issuance methods. Stages of inspection were significant on the inventory management practice (χ2 Wald test P-value =0.000). There was significant correlation between the inventory management practices and inspection stage of essential drugs (χ2 Wald test P-value =0.037) with best practices identified when inspection was done before storage. This implies that inspection before storage increased odds of good inventory management practices. From the study it established that the main suppliers of essential drugs were MEDS 35.5%, KEMSA 29.0%, Pre-qualified supplier 19.4% and Private distributors 16.1% (p-value= 0.734). The study established that ordering of drugs mainly depended on past consumption 61.1 % other than request by users 22.2 %, majority of clinical staff 56.6 % complained of receiving drugs of questionable quality from the hospital drugs store indicating a problem in inspection of ED before storage. CONCLUSIONS: The study concluded that mission hospitals performed better than public hospitals in all aspects of inventory management. This is significant and considering that health care workers use essential drugs to deliver quality services to the clients. Patient visiting mission hospitals were likely to get all prescribed medicine which was a measure of quality on patient perspective than patient seeking health care from public health facilities: RECOMMENDATION: The study recommends public health facilities to benchmark with mission hospitals to improve inventory management practices thus ensuring availability of ED .
International Journal of Current Business and Social Sciences