Assessment of the compliance of public health facilities with essential medicines and health supplies redistribution guidelines in Mbale district, Eastern Uganda.
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Introduction: Redistribution is a mechanism used in stock management to move unused stock to where it is most needed. To ensure that redistribution is done in a harmonized manner, the Ministry of Health (MOH) in 2012 implemented the National Redistribution Strategy for Prevention of Expiry and Handling of Expired Medicines and Health Supplies. This study therefore aimed at assessing the compliance of public health facilities with Essential Medicines and Health Supplies redistribution guidelines in Mbale district, eastern Uganda. Methods: A descriptive-analytical cross-sectional study was carried out among 33 primary care facilities in Mbale district and 5 key informants from the district administration. Audio recorded data was transcribed and coded to develop themes that were analysed using ATLAS TI Version 8.5. Collected quantitative data was analysed using SPSS Version 24.0 and presented inform of tables, illustrations and text. Results: The overall level of compliance of the health facilities with the EMHS redistribution guidelines was 33.3%. Of the facilities assessed, 18 had had stock outs, 12 had excess stock and only 4 facilities had redistributed, although of the respondents stated that redistribution had helped reduce expiries and stock-outs. Respondents who did not know about the timely release of money for redistribution were 67.6% less likely to comply and those who said the guidelines had were never shared were 88% less likely to comply. Conclusion and Recommendations: The study found that compliance with the redistribution guidelines was low (33.3%), although the respondent agreed that redistribution had reduced shortages and expiries. The study also found out that not knowing about the release of money for redistribution and never sharing the guidelines contributed significantly to noncompliance. It is therefore recommended that, district level budgets are reviewed to include funds to transport redistributable stock and continuously encourage sharing of the guidelines and capacity building