Medical prescription pitfalls of acute upper respiratory infections in government health care facilities in Zambia
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Prescribing of medicines is one of the most important clinical task that is complex and consists of a mixture of sub-competences such as principles of clinical pharmacology, knowledge, skill, critical judgement among many others. Prescription errors, potentially serious and non-serious, have been reported in the United Kingdom hospitals among both junior and senior doctors. The aim of this study was to evaluate pitfalls in medical prescriptions of acute upper respiratory tract infection in Zambia. Medical/dental students attended government healthcare facilities and requested for medical prescriptions to enable them purchase medications for their acute upper respiratory tract infection or sore throat. A total of 80 (77.7%) students out of 103 participated in the survey. This study has demonstrated gross drug misuse as all the healthy medical and dental students who presented at government healthcare facilities with complaints of acute upper respiratory tract infection were given medical prescriptions. Only a small proportion of patient’s prescription had addresses indicated (16.7%) and not all (87.1%) had patients’ names written on the prescriptions. Only a small proportion of prescriptions (28.5%) had generic names indicated on the prescriptions. More than half of prescriptions in this study did not have prescribers’ names (54.7%), identification numbers (73.2%) and addresses or departments (71.7%). This study demonstrated over prescription and drug misuse. A large proportion of prescriptions had no identification of both patients and prescribers. Furthermore, only a small proportion of prescriptions were written using generic names making generic substitutions at pharmacy outlets a challenge.
CitationBesa, C. and Siziya, S. (2017). Medical prescription pitfalls of acute upper respiratory infections in government health care facilities in Zambia. Health Press Zambia Bull. 1(3),
SponsorshipOffice of Global AIDS/US Department of State
Health Press Zambia Bull.
SubjectDrug Prescription,Respiratory Infections--Zambia
Drug Prescribing,Upper Respiratory Tract Infection--Zambia
evaluating pitfalls in medical prescriptions of acute upper respiratory tract infection in Zambia.