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The reality of task shifting in medicines management- a case study from Tanzania

Overview of attention for article published in Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice, April 2015
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3 tweeters
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1 Facebook page

Citations

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14 Dimensions

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70 Mendeley
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Title
The reality of task shifting in medicines management- a case study from Tanzania
Published in
Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice, April 2015
DOI 10.1186/s40545-015-0032-8
Pubmed ID
Authors

Karin A Wiedenmayer, Ntuli Kapologwe, James Charles, Fiona Chilunda, Siana Mapunjo

Abstract

Tanzania suffers a severe shortage of pharmaceutical staff. This negatively affects the provision of pharmaceutical services and access to medicines, particularly in rural areas. Task shifting has been proposed as a way to mitigate the impact of health worker shortfalls.The aim of this study was to understand the context and extent of task shifting in pharmaceutical management in Dodoma Region, Tanzania. We explored 1) the number of trained pharmaceutical staff as compared to clinical cadres managing medicines, 2) the national establishment for staffing levels, 3) job descriptions, 4) supply management training conducted and 5) availability of medicines and adherence to Good Storage Practice. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 270 public health facilities in 2011. A pre-tested questionnaire was administered to the person in charge of the facility to collect data on staff employed and their respective pharmaceutical tasks. Availability of 26 tracer medicines and adherence to Good Storage Practice guidelines was surveyed by direct observation. The national establishments for pharmaceutical staffing levels and job descriptions of facility cadres were analysed. While required staffing levels in 1999 were 50, the region employed a total of only 14 pharmaceutical staff in 2011. Job descriptions revealed that, next to pharmaceutical staff, only nurses were required to provide dispensing services and adherence counselling. In 95.5% of studied health facilities medicines management was done by non-pharmaceutically trained cadres, predominantly medical attendants. The first training on supply management was provided in 2005 with no refresher training thereafter. Mean availability of tracer medicines was 53%, while 56% of health facilities fully met criteria of Good Storage Practice. Task shifting is a reality in the pharmaceutical sector in Tanzania and it occurs mainly as a coping mechanism rather than a formal response to the workforce crisis. In Dodoma Region, pharmacy-related tasks and supply management have informally been shifted to clinical staff without policy guidance, explicit job descriptions, and without the necessary support through training. Implicit task shifting should be recognized and formalized. Job orientation, training and operational procedures may be useful to support non-pharmaceutical health workers to effectively manage medicine supply.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 3 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 70 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
South Africa 1 1%
Unknown 69 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 16 23%
Student > Master 15 21%
Student > Bachelor 9 13%
Student > Postgraduate 8 11%
Student > Ph. D. Student 5 7%
Other 9 13%
Unknown 8 11%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 19 27%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 9 13%
Social Sciences 9 13%
Nursing and Health Professions 7 10%
Business, Management and Accounting 7 10%
Other 9 13%
Unknown 10 14%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 15 May 2015.
All research outputs
#11,488,640
of 19,211,930 outputs
Outputs from Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice
#213
of 333 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#114,654
of 236,886 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice
#1
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 19,211,930 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 39th percentile – i.e., 39% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 333 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 11.0. This one is in the 33rd percentile – i.e., 33% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 236,886 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 50% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them