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Evaluation of pharmacovigilance system performance in South- South Nigeria

Abstract : The evolution of the pharmacovigilance system in Nigeria has been associated with modest growth and teaching hospitals have been identified as important partners in the pharmacovigilance mechanism. However, there have been no studies evaluating the performance of the pharmacovigilance system in Nigerian Teaching hospitals prior to this time. This study set out to evaluate the state of pharmacovigilance specifically adverse drug reactions in South-South Nigeria. The pharmacovigilance system as well as the prescribing pattern of medicines was evaluated using the WHO Core Pharmacovigilance indicators and WHO Core Prescribing indicators respectively. This was followed by an educational intervention with text messages sent via the Short Messaging System (SMS) to improve the knowledge, attitude and practice of pharmacovigilance amongst healthcare professionals. The number, quality and profile of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) were also assessed before and after the intervention. Factors likely to contribute to poor reporting of pharmacovigilance issues were sought by conducting knowledge, awareness, and practice survey of healthcare professionals working in the zone.The findings showed that of the six teaching hospitals assessed, only three could be described as functional or partly functional although all had some structures in place for pharmacovigilance activities. The process and outcome/impact indicators revealed weak health systems and overall insufficient attention to pharmacovigilance in the hospitals as only one centre had committed their ADR reports to the National Pharmacovigilance Centre and there were few documented medicines related admissions ranging from 0.0985/1000 to 1.67/1000 admissions. It further showed that although a modest knowledge and fair perception of pharmacovigilance existed among the group, practice was poor as only 12% of the 811 healthcare Professionals had ever used the national ADR reporting form and there were few adverse drug reaction reports in the local hospital databases. These were attributed to insufficient awareness of pharmacovigilance on what can be reported, poor reporting processes, wrong beliefs that their reporting will not make a difference and difficulty in determining what to report. There was an improvement in the knowledge and practice of pharmacovigilance, with a 31.6% increase in the number of adverse drug reaction reports following an educational intervention. This study also highlighted the ADR profile to commonly used medicines in the zone and the inherent problems associated with spontaneous reporting. It further highlights that the growing discipline of pharmacovigilance can be improved through frequent assessments of the system, training of the healthcare professionals and general strengthening of the Nigerian healthcare system. More in-depth studies would be required to further evaluate the safety of medicines in the Nigerian population.
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Abimbola Olowofela. Evaluation of pharmacovigilance system performance in South- South Nigeria. Human health and pathology. Université de Bordeaux, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018BORD0456⟩. ⟨tel-02080130⟩

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