HEALTH Minister Joseph Kasonde has blamed some clinicians for perceived drug shortages because they prescribe drugs without checking if they are available.
Dr Kasonde, however, said the introduction of new treatment guidelines would bring order and harmonise the dispensing of drugs.
He said the new guidelines, which were disease-oriented, reflected the consensus on the first choice for a range of medical conditions, and that they would guide clinicians and other health personnel on the rational use of medicines.
Dr Kasonde was speaking when he officiated at the launch of the revised standard treatment guidelines, Zambia formulary, Zambia essential medicines list and guidelines for medicines and therapeutic committee at Chilenje Health Centre in Lusaka yesterday.
”The first choice of each treatment for health problems is the basis for these documents we are launching today,” he said.
He said essential medicines were drugs that satisfied the health care needs of the majority of the population, adding that the rationale for selecting a limited number of essential medicines was to enhance supply, rational use and lower costs.
“This manual was developed from the essential medicines list. It includes medical information and other services that support good medicine management and the rational use of these v ital supplies,” Dr Kasonde.
He challenged health workers to utilise the manual, adding that this would result in increased monitoring and supervision of the functions of such medicines.
The Ministry of Health regularly updates medical guidelines to ensure that they remained relevant to health workers and the new trends of treating diseases.