Standard Treatment Guidelines, Essential Medicines List, Essential Laboratory Supplies for Zambia. 2nd Ed. Lusaka, Zambia
(2008; 344 pages)

Abstract

The Standard Treatment Guidelines were developed after wide consultations and discussions with healthcare providers at three tires of the health delivery system – practitioners, program managers and health economists. While most of the key information has been retained, extensive revisions were carried out on some of the chapters such as HIV and AIDS, psychiatric conditions, STI, and eye conditions. While some of the changes to treatment strategies were motivated by the dynamism of the conditions and availability of more effective medicines and conformity with national disease specific guidelines, some of them were influenced by the new treatment strategies as guided by the World Health Organization and evidence from clinical studies. Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infections in adults, adolescence, infants and children were adopted from WHO guidelines as recommended for public health approach. The guidelines are based on a comparison between various drug therapies and on consideration of value for money and the most effective, affordable and current practices that produce health outcomes of improved quality of life and alleviation of suffering. They are also based on the essential drugs and medical supplies concepts to meet the basic health needs of the Zambians as close to the family as possible as visionalised from the National Drug Policy.

The essential medicines and laboratory supplies listed in the Essential Medicines and Essential Laboratory Supplies Lists are linked to the standard treatment guidelines as indicative of public health priorities for the pharmaceutical systems. The lists are based on national clinical choices that the Government of the Republic of Zambia makes available and accessible to its citizens at all times. The medicines and supplies selection was also based on sound and adequate information of efficacy from clinical settings, evidence of performance from different health care settings, availability in a form in which quality, stability in the Zambian weather and storage settings, bioavailability and users are assured. In addition total cost of treatment and methodology of administration were also considered.

The Drugs and Therapeutic Committees and hospital and district health management teams are mandated to use these Guidelines and Lists as management tools to improve the quality of the health care delivery and meet the public health responsibility of transparency and accountability. Individual health care professionals are encouraged to use the guidelines as a companion in the course of health care delivery provision.

 
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