Availability of Essential Medicines and Inventory Management Practice at Public Health Centers in Bahirdar Town West Gojjam Zone, Amhara Region, Ethiopia, 2020
Background: Essential medicines are medicines that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population. These medicines are selected with due regard to disease prevalence and public health relevance, evidence of clinical efficacy and safety, and comparative costs and cost-effectiveness. Essential medicines are intended to be available within the context of functioning health systems at all times in adequate amounts, in the appropriate dosage forms, with assured quality, and at a price the individual and the community can afford.
Objective: To assess availability of essential medicine and inventory management practice at public health centers in Bahir Dar town.
Method: Institutional based cross sectional study design conduct among six HCs in Bahir Dar town. Checklists were used according to Ems lists from the Amhara region health bureau to assess the availability of essential medicine. IMAT was used to review the essential drugs inventory records of tracer drugs and examine stock records and historical stock outs. An observational method was applied on physical stock of the inventory and the inventory record at the day of visit to check for stock availability, inventory accuracy, stock out durations and stock record variation.
Results: According to the study the average percent of time out of stock was 26.2%; the average percent of essential drugs available on the day of assessment was 74.7%. The average percentage of stock keeping records were accurate (56.7%), this study found that records were greater than physical counts (22.7%) and the average ratio of inventory variation to total stock was 33.7%.
Discussion and recommendation: The availability of Ems in Bahirdar public health centers was poor. Inaccurate stock keeping record was observed irrespective of health centers level. For increasing inventory management: Timely entries to logistic tool, updated records, updated stock status and when drugs are issued from the health facilities store room to different units, the date of issue and quantity issued being recorded on the available logistics tool were necessary.