Pharmacovigilance of antimalarial treatment in Uganda: community perceptions and suggestions for reporting adverse events


Bukirwa, H; Nayiga, S; Lubanga, R; Mwebaza, N; Chandler, C; Hopkins, H; Talisuna, AO; Staedke, SG; (2008) Pharmacovigilance of antimalarial treatment in Uganda: community perceptions and suggestions for reporting adverse events. Tropical medicine & international health , 13 (9). pp. 1143-1152. ISSN 1360-2276 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2008.02119.x

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES The deployment of new antimalarials in Africa provides an important opportunity to develop systems for pharmacovigilance. To inform strategies for reporting adverse events in Uganda, we investigated local perceptions and experiences with antimalarial treatment, and evaluated existing and potential systems for pharmacovigilance. METHODS Focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted with community members and health workers from urban and rural Uganda exploring knowledge of fever/malaria, perceptions and expectations of treatment, understanding of adverse effects, and experiences with adverse events. Sessions were recorded, transcribed into English, and analysed using a coding scheme developed from pre-defined topics together with themes emerging from the data. RESULTS Between April and July 2006, we conducted 25 FGDs; 16 with community members and nine with health workers. All respondents had extensive experience with malaria and its treatment. Community members commonly recognized adverse effects of antimalarial therapy. However, events were uncommonly reported, and certain events were often interpreted as signs of successful treatment. Community members often felt that the costs of reporting or seeking additional care outweighed the potential benefits. Health workers were unfamiliar with formal pathways for reporting, and were deterred by the additional work of reporting and fear of incrimination. Respondents provided suggestions for incentives and methods of reporting, emphasizing that pharmacovigilance should ideally encompass the public and private sector, and the community. CONCLUSIONS To be successful, pharmacovigilance relying on voluntary reporting will require active participation of patients and health workers. Addressing the costs and benefits of reporting, and providing sensitization, training and feedback will be important.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
Research Centre: Antimicrobial Resistance Centre (AMR)
Malaria Centre
PubMed ID: 18631312
Web of Science ID: 258607400005
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/6887

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