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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 8, No. 4, 2008, pp. 220-226
Bioline Code: hs08047
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 8, No. 4, 2008, pp. 220-226

 en Access and use of medicines information sources by physicians in public hospitals in Uganda: a cross-sectional survey
Tumwikirize, Winifred A.; Ogwal-Okeng, Jasper W.; Vernby, Åsa; Anokbonggo, Willy W.; Gustafsson, Lars L. & Lundborg, Cecilia S.


Background: Rational and cost-effective prescription of medicines requires up-to-date and readily accessible medicines information. There are several studies on availability and access to medicines information sources, but have been conducted only in high-income countries.
Objective: To assess medicines information sources accessed by physicians in public hospitals in Uganda, and physicians' opinion on establishment of a medicines information centre in the country.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey including 369 physicians from six district, six regional and two university hospitals. Data was collected using a semi-structured self-administered questionnaire.
Results: Response rate was 91%. This included 31, 136 and 168 physicians from the district, regional and university hospitals, respectively. In the district hospitals the source of medicines information reported to be most available was colleagues (100%), while in the regional and university hospitals it was literature from pharmaceutical companies (98%) and hard copy of research publications (99%) respectively. The most frequently used source in the district and regional hospitals was National Standard Treatment Guideline (90% and 73% respectively), and colleagues in university hospitals (89%). Accessibility problems with reported available sources were commonest with research publications in medical journals, both hard copy and through the internet, MIMS, pharmacists and pharmacologists. Need for a medicines information centre was indicated by 80% of the respondents.
Conclusion: Majority of the physicians in public hospitals in Uganda have limited access to unbiased drug information. Therefore, there is need to assess the feasibility of establishing a drug information centre, and then assess its use during a trial period.

Medicines information, physicians, Uganda

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