n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Adherence to the Primary Health Care Standard Treatment Guidelines in a pediatric sample with respiratory conditions in Umkhanyakude Health District, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa : increasing patient access to treatment

Supplement 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Primary Health Care (PHC) is the first level of contact with the National Health System in South Africa, with health care services provided mainly by nurses. The National Drug Policy was developed in South Africa to guide health care services, which resulted in the formulation of Standard Treatment Guidelines and Essential Medicine List (STGs/EML) for PHC. Emphasis has been placed on all prescribers to strictly adhere to these guidelines when providing clinical patient care. This study investigated adherence of authorised prescribers to STGs/EML when treating children presenting with respiratory conditions at PHC level in the Umkhanyakude Health District, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Twenty PHC facilities and three prescribers from each facility were randomly selected for interview and auditing of prescription registers. Five prescriptions from each selected prescriber containing any of the children's respiratory conditions to be studied were audited resulting that 15 prescriptions at a PHC facility were audited. Respiratory conditions or symptoms were found to be more prevalent in the prescriptions for children five years and under than those of children above five years up to 12 years. Pneumonia (39.7%) was the most common respiratory condition followed by common cold and influenza. Amoxicillin (52%) was mostly prescribed for these respiratory conditions. Only 4% of prescribers showed full adherence to the 2008 PHC STGs/EML. Also, failure to accurately diagnose respiratory conditions and lack of implementation and monitoring strategies were amongst the factors impacting on adherence. Multifaceted interventions must be implemented by the District Team to improve adherence to the PHC STGs/EML.

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