Authors declare that they have no competing interests.
JB conceived, designed, conducted and analyzed data in this study. He also wrote the manuscript. The other authors (EE, ER, and TE) were jointly responsible for study concept and writing the manuscript. All authors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript.
The integrated Community Case Management (iCCM) of childhood illnesses strategy has been adopted world over to reduce child related ill health and mortality. Community Health workers (CHWs) who implement this strategy need a regular supply of drugs to effectively treat children under 5 years with malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea. In this paper, we report the prevalence and factors influencing availability of medicines for managing malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea in communities in central Uganda.
A cross sectional study was conducted among 303 CHWs in Wakiso district in central Uganda. Eligible CHWs from two randomly selected Health Sub Districts (HSDs) were interviewed. Questionnaires, check lists, record reviews were used to collect information on CHW background characteristics, CHW’s prescription behaviors, health system support factors and availability of iCCM drugs. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was done to assess factors associated with availability of iCCM drugs.
Out of 300 CHWs, 239 (79.9 %) were females and mean age was 42.1 (standard deviation =11.1 years). The prevalence of iCCM drug availability was 8.3 % and 33 respondents (11 %) had no drugs at all. Factors associated with iCCM drug availability were; being supervised within the last month (adjusted OR = 3.70, 95 % CI 1.22–11.24), appropriate drug prescriptions (adjusted OR = 3.71, 95 % CI 1.38–9.96), regular submission of drug reports (adjusted OR = 4.02, 95 % CI 1.62–10.10) and having a respiratory timer as a diagnostic tool (adjusted OR =3.11, 95 % CI 1.08–9.00).
The low medicine stocks for the community management of childhood illnesses calls for strengthening of CHW supervision, medicine prescription and reporting, and increasing availability of functional diagnostic tools.