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Access to BNF online would be a milestone in improving access to reliable medicine information for presribers

HIFA Quotation: 

Unfortunately, when I tried to access [BNF] through the link , this is the response I got: 

"This site has detected that you are accessing it from Kenya. 
Unfortunately this site is only available from Great Britain.
We apologise for any inconvenience."

My colleagues within East Africa, (Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda) tell me the same...

The severe paucity of reliable sources of readily accessible medicine information may be the main driver for wide-scale irrational use of medicines and its consequences which range from Adverse Drug Reactions, Anti-Microbial Resistance and Wastage of per capita income.

In East Africa for instance, the prescribing practice is heavily influenced by the commercially biased information from the medical representative, who in addition, use several unethical ploys to influence the prescribers. It is worse in rural settings where nurses, who play an pivotal role in primary healthcare, prescribe up to 80% of the medications. The prescribing patterns and practices are more or less influenced by several important dynamics including personal experiences, information from colleagues and sometimes out-dated sources of information.



Date of HIFA message: 
Thursday, March 12, 2015
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Users of healthcare information: 
Author Name: 
Andrew Oluga
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DGroup URL
Links to the full text of the message and thread in the Dgroups archive; accessible only to HIFA members - join HIFA here (free); request full text by email to
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HIFA profile: Andrew Oluga is Executive Director of Action For Appropriate Drug Use (AFADU), Kenya. Professional interests: AFADU NGO is a Kenyan organization that utilizes applicable expertise and strategic partnerships to implement evidence informed solutions and interventions aimed to enlighten and empower Kenyan people with vital skills, information, knowledge and resources necessary for ensuring effective, safe and wise use of medicines. The Organization is necessitated by the alarming wide spread inappropriate use of medicines that is now spelling a new catastrophe for the already disease burdened country-Kenya. The challenge that is now threatening the well being of the entire nation as resistance to microbial medicines take the toll, especially within communities that have little capacity to access alternative therapeutic options. Andrew is a member of the HIFA Working Group on Information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines.  Email address: AT 

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