Search this journal:     Advanced search
Original Research

Medicines availability at a Swaziland hospital and impact on patients

Kholiwe Shabangu, Fatima Suleman

African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine; Vol 7, No 1 (2015), 6 pages. doi: 10.4102/phcfm.v7i1.829

Submitted: 29 January 2015
Published:  14 September 2015


Background: The burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries is increasing. Where patients are expected to make increased out-of-pocket payments this can lead to treatment interruptions or non-adherence. Swaziland is no exception in this regard.

Aim: The aim of the study was to investigate the availability of medicines for NCDs in a hospital and the impact of out-of-pocket spending by patients for medicines not available at the hospital.

Setting: The study was conducted at Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital in Manzini, Swaziland.

Methods: Exit interviews to assess availability of a selected basket of medicines were conducted with 300 patients diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension or asthma. The stock status record of a basket of medicines for these conditions in 2012 was assessed at the Central Medical Stores. Results were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20.0.

Results: Most of the patients (n = 213; 71%) confirmed not receiving all of their prescribed medicines at each visit to the hospital in the past six months. On average patients spent 10–50 times more on their medicines at private pharmacies compared to user fees in the health facility. Stock-outs at the Central Medical Stores ranging from 30 days to over 180 days were recorded during the course of the assessment period (12 months), and were found to contribute to inconsistent availability of medicines in the health facility.

Conclusion: Out-of-pocket expenditure is common for patients with chronic conditions using this health facility, which suggests the possibility of patients defaulting on treatment due to lack of affordability.

Full Text:  |  HTML  |  EPUB  |  XML  |  PDF (299KB)

Author affiliations

Kholiwe Shabangu, Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Fatima Suleman, Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Health Sciences, Westville Campus, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa



Total abstract views: 1945
Total article views: 3499


No related citations found

Comments on this article

Before posting your comment, please read our policy.
Post a Comment (Login required)

ISSN: 2071-2928 (print) | ISSN: 2071-2936 (online)

Connect on: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube

Subscribe to our newsletter

All articles published in this journal are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license, unless otherwise stated.

Website design & content: ©2017 AOSIS (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved. No unauthorised duplication allowed.

AOSIS Publishing | Empowering Africa through access to knowledge
Postnet Suite #110, Private Bag X19, Durbanville, South Africa, 7551
Tel: 086 1000 381 
Tel: +27 21 975 2602 
Fax: 086 5004 974

publishing(AT) replace (AT) with @

Please read the privacy statement.