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Adverse drug reaction reporting among health care workers at Mulago National Referral and Teaching hospital in Uganda

Barbara Katusiime
Daniel Semakula
Solomon J Lubinga


Background: Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) are an important contributor to patient morbidity and hospitalisation in Uganda. Under-reporting of ADRs may increase medicine-induced morbidity and mortality among patients. This study determined the extent of ADR reporting, and associated factors, among healthcare workers in Uganda.
Methods: A quantitative, cross-sectional, study was conducted. Pretested, semi-structured questionnaires were administered to 289 randomly sampled healthcare workers over a three-month period in Mulago National Referral Hospital, Uganda. The primary outcome was the proportion of healthcare workers who had ever reported an ADR. Data was double-entered in Epidata version 3.0, cleaned and exported to STATA version 10.1 for analysis.
Results: The overall response rate was 77.2% (n=223). The majority of the respondents were females (139, 62.3%). The median age of all respondents was 32.6 years (min-23; max-65). Only about 16.6% (n=37) of healthcare workers had ever reported an ADR. Very few (n= 84, 37.7%) healthcare workers knew the tools used in ADR reporting. Less than a quarter (n=41, 18.4%) of the healthcare workers knew where to report ADRs. Lack of training was reported as the major (56.5%, 126) deterrent to reporting ADRs by healthcare workers.
Conclusion: Adverse drug reactions are under-reported in Uganda, and healthcare workers have insufficient knowledge of existing pharmacovigilance systems, including ADR reporting systems. To address these challenges, there is need to sensitize and train healthcare workers in patient-centred aspects of medicine surveillance, so as to provide appropriate care while optimising patient safety.

Keywords: Adverse drug reaction, ADR, adverse effects, reporting, healthcare worker, pharmacovigilance, Uganda