Antimalarial Drugs for Pediatrics - Prescribing and Dispensing Practices in a Tanzanian City
Purpose: To assess dispensing and prescribing practices with regard to antimalarial drugs for pediatrics in private pharmacies and public hospitals in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional, descriptive study that assessed the knowledge and practice of 200 drug dispensers in the private community pharmacies in Dar es Salaam. Two hundred (200) parents of children seeking malaria treatment were also interviewed at the public hospitals.
Results: A majority of drug dispensers had moderate (63.3 %) to low knowledge (36.7 %) regarding antimalarial drug use in pediatrics. Parents had moderate (67 %) to low (33 %) level of understanding of the instructions given to them by the prescribers regarding administration of antimalarial drugs to pediatrics at home. Most children were not weighed, and there were indications of wrong calculations of doses of antimalarials in pediatrics.
Conclusion: Overall, there were irrational dispensing and prescribing of antimalarial drugs to pediatrics. Since malaria is a major killer disease in Tanzania, especially in children under five years of age, there is a need to institute measures to ensure rational prescribing, dispensing and use of antimalarial drugs in pediatrics.
Keywords: Antimalarials, Dispensing, Knowledge, Pediatrics, Pharmacies, Prescribing