Standard Treatment Guidelines and National Essential Medicines List. Tanzania Mainland, 2017. (STG & NEMLIT, 2017)
(2017; 464 pages)

Abstract

The development and implementation of Standard Treatment Guidelines (STG) and National Essential Medicines List (NEMLIT) is an important step in the health care system for quality diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases as well as procurement and supply of pharmaceuticals. The goal of the Standard Treatment Guidelines is to promote high standards of clinical practice and to improve the quality of health care to the public. STGs summarise recommended prevention and treatment strategies for commonly occurring disease conditions in the country. The STG/NEMLIT need to be updated periodically; and this is the fifth edition officially approved to guide health care workers at all levels of healthcare delivery system in the country.

The guidelines reflect changes in the management of various diseases following recommendations from WHO and experts from local and international medical associations and agencies. It is emphasised that the choices described in this document are evidence based, clinically approved and are consistent with the already existing WHO and other national and international guidelines.

Like the previous editions, the new edition comprises a National Essential Medicines List (NEMLIT). The NEMLIT is in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) model list of Essential Medicines (EML) 20th edition of March, 2017. The NEMLIT should be used to restrict antibiotic use in health facilities to those selected as the most appropriate for use at each level of health care delivery. The antibacterials in the NEMLIT have been categorized into ACCESS, WATCH and RESERVE groups (as per WHO recommendations). The ACCESS antibiotics will be prescribed and dispensed at all levels including dispensary and health centres. The WATCH group will only be allowed to be prescribed and dispensed from council hospitals. The RESERVE group consists of protected and prioritized antibiotics to be used only at tertiary level i.e. national, zonal, referral and specialized hospitals.

This document reflects the policy of the Government of Tanzania of ensuring availability of safe and efficacious essential medicines to all its citizens. It is therefore, a key tool which should effectively be used to promote access to essential medicines to achieve maximum therapeutic benefit and optimize patient outcomes. All public health facilities shall abide to the NEMLIT for procurement and treatment purposes as the identified medicines are considered essential for the treatment of the most common disease conditions in Tanzania. However, comments and suggestions that may help us to improve the treatment guidelines will be appreciated in order to ensure that these guidelines continue to advance and remain adapted to the reality of the field.

 
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