(1994; 2 pages)
Two studies carried out in Angola in 1990 confirmed that only 12% of drugs were used in a rational way. In order to improve the quality of care in this country, the Essential Drugs Programme (EDP) developed a set of indicators to measure various aspects of staff performance at health centres. The set of 12 indicators was selected based on certain problem areas and how they related to the rational use of drugs. The five categories of indicators relate to consultation and examination, prescribing of drugs, case management, dispensing of drugs, and patient education. Indicators are assessed through the accumulation of points; more points means the indicator is strong. The assessment can pinpoint weak versus strong areas in a health centre and also rate the performance of staff. Provincial supervisors participated in two one month training courses, and an operational manual helped guide them through the assessment process. Prior to these measures, no formal strategies for drug information, monitoring or education within the EDP existed. Two key factors in the success of the programme thus far are a sense of “partnership” and “belonging” among supervisors, and the use of the operational manual, which has been a practical way for supervisors to “know what to do.” A detailed report on the process and outcome of supervision is in progress for future publication.