oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Disease pattern and prescribing at the University of Zimbabwe students health service, 1987-1991

Volume 39, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



The trends in drug use, expenditure and disease pattern at the University of Zimbabwe students' health facility over a period of five years (1987-1991), were analysed retrospectively. The study also analysed the use of the essential drugs concept and the drug situation in Zimbabwe. A total of 1 500 cases which were randomly selected were studied. The total student population over this period was 44 030. Data collection sheets where utilised to extract information from patients' cards. Requisition order books and budgets for drugs and medical appliances and student population statistical data were analysed. Males accounted for 75,7 pc of the cases and the average age at the time of the visit was 22,04 years. The percentage of cases involving married students was 2,53 pc of which 94,74 pc were males. The total expenditure of drugs and medical appliances for the study period was $412 413,55 and most of the items were supplied by the Government Medical Stores. The most prevalent disease conditions were respitory tract infections (35 pc) and urinary tract infection (16,3 pc). The disease pattern differed from that at district, general and provincial hospitals. The total number of drugs dispensed for the 1 500 students was 2 600, giving an average of 1,7 drugs per case. Analgesics were the most widely used drugs (28,5 pc), followed by anti-infectives (28,2 pc). The most popular analgesic used was paracetamol which accounted for 66,6 pc of the analgesics. Antibiotics accounted for 88,1 pc of the anti-infectives and 24,9 pc of the total number of drugs dispensed. The most popular type of anti-infectives were the penicillins which accounted for 29,6 pc of the antibiotics. The most frequently used penicillin was phenoxymethyl-penicillin which accounted for 66, 1 pc of the penicillin and 17,8 pc of the anti-infectives. There is a need for health centres to rigorously keep records on requisition/order books, so that these can be of use to evaluators on improvement of drug utilisation at the student health centre and perhaps, other clinics.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error