(2012; 209 pages)
For the first time in Uganda, essential medicines, health and laboratory supplies have been integrated into one list with the recognition that all three (essential medicines, health and laboratory supplies) are integral to the diagnosis and appropriate treatment of diseases. In addition, the combined essential medicines, health and laboratory supplies list has been level of use categorized and VEN classified. VEN classification is a method for prioritizing items according to health impact. Both level of use and VEN classification are included to help facilities prioritize which items to order with the often limited funding they are allocated. By prioritizing correctly, stock levels of life-saving medicines and health supplies at the facility will increase, leading to better health care service for Ugandans. Using the Essential Medicines and Health Supplies List for Uganda (EMHSLU) to guide the quantification and procurement processes by level of use will result in the right conditions being treated at the right level of use and will possibly improve the referral system and overall health care services.
After VEN classification, 32% (195/604) of medicines, 32% (176/553) of health supplies and 36% (369/1013) of laboratory supplies were classified as Vital. If facilities prioritize the procurement (or ordering) of Vital medicines, health and laboratory supplies instead of procuring Essential and Necessary items the quantities of Vital items would increase proportionally to the increased budgetary allocation previously spend on Essential and Necessary items.
During their updates, the EMHSLU and Uganda Clinical Guidelines (UCG) were harmonized to ensure inclusion in the EMHSLU of all essential medicines, health and laboratory supplies needed to treat common conditions according to the UCG.