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Medication safety issues in Four Lower Middle-Income Countries of Northern and Eastern Africa: Challenges and Recommendations

Abstract

Mansour Adam Mahmoud, Alnada Abdalla Mohamed Ibrahim, Sultan O Alolayan

Background: Literature on medication safety issues such as medication errors, adverse drug events and medication safety practices in African countries are scarce compared to western countries.
Objective: This review was carried out to explore medication safety challenges in four Lower Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) of Africa and recommend strategies to improve medication safety.
Methods: Electronic databases such as PubMed, Science Direct, and Google Scholar were searched to locate studies related to medication safety in LMIC of Africa.
Results: The results of this review suggest that a very few numbers of existing studies have investigated medication safety issues in the four LMIC. The medication safety issues reported were in the areas of prescribing, monitoring, administration, and transcribing stages. Medication-related challenges during prescribing were incorrect dose, incorrect frequency, and drug-drug interactions. In the monitoring stage, the most commonly seen errors were drug interactions and inappropriate monitoring process. During the administration stage, the most commonly observed errors were in incorrect dose and medications omission. The Incorrect dose problem was also identified during the dispensing stage. Incidences of adverse drug reactions were reported. Among the reported contributing factors to these medication safety issues were lack of training and limited resources.
Conclusion: one of the challenges faced by the healthcare systems in LMIC is the medication safety issue. Most of the challenges identified can be resolved with the utilization of some available resources in these countries. This paper suggests several recommendations through which these challenges can be addressed.

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