An Intervention Improving Prescribing Practices and Monitoring Drugs Availability in a District
(2009; 5 pages)


To improve the quality of health care in Nepal, supervision/ monitoring involving periodic visits by the district supervisor to health facilities (top-down approach) is in practice. It is not objectively implemented because of time and financial constraints and terrain of the country. To assess the effectiveness of a pre-tested strategy i.e. peer-group discussion with self-assessment piloted through the district health system in improving quality of care. A pre-post pilot study was conducted in 41 PHC facilities of Chitwan district of Central Nepal. The intervention included small- group training to prescribers followed by peer-group discussion with self-assessment data. It involved visit of in-charges from health facilities to district level regular meeting with self-assessment data on the treatment of four targeted health problems and also the availability of drugs of their health facilities as well as from health facilities which were under their supervision (bottom-up approach). In under-five children, there was a significant improvement in use of antimicrobials in diarrhoea, paracetamol alone and antibiotics in no pneumonia, and co-trimoxazole or amoxycillin alone or with paracetamol in pneumonia. The use of benzyl benzoate or gamma benzene hexachloride alone and antibiotics in scabies were also significantly improved. The peer-group discussion, a bottom-up approach of supervision/monitoring implemented through district health system improves the prescribing practices and availability of drugs in the district.

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