Swaziland
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PAPERLESS SYSTEM ACCOUNTS FOR DISPENSING DRUGS AT TLC

SIDVOKODVO – A system that accounts for dispensing medical drugs in a health facility is already in existence in one of the free hospitals in the country.

The Luke Commission (TLC) has established a paperless system that accounts for every activity within the facility that has, in the past year, hosted over 217 000 patients. TLC, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) founded in 2005 and based at Sidvokodvo, through its Executive Director, Echo Vanderwal, said they had established a system which accounted for medical drugs and pharmaceutical supplies utilised per day. Vanderwal said before the lapse of each shift, the personnel handing over to the next person starting his or her shift accounted for what they had distributed.

Ensuring

This, she said, assisted in ensuring that the health facility did not lose medical dugs and or pharmaceutical products through theft and or corruption. She said the system was reviewed each time they realised a weakness in it and had been used at the Miracle Campus in Sidvokodvo since 2013, when they started their operations. The system, which was seen by reporters from this publication, starts recording the patient upon arrival at the facility. This, it was said, was to ensure that when they started being attended to, it was easier to start with their (patients) core challenge before they were taken for other medical tests, in order to establish any other underlying medical challenges. Vanderwal explained that after patients were registered at the entrance, they were transported with carts to their out-patient department (OPD) where they were attended to. As the patient went through the different departments, their information was loaded into the system, such that the next personnel to attend to them knew what was recorded and was guided by it.

This, she said, led to the final stage, where medication was dispersed wherein a photo of the medication to be offered to the patient was captured with a camera and loaded into the system while it was also deducted from their stock. The executive director said this assisted them in ensuring that they were aware of their stock levels, while also ensuring that their clients received what they had come for at their health facility. The system permits the medical personnel to also keep records of patients who should return at a later date for refills and or further check-ups aligned to their ailment. It also permits the medical health facility to dispatch information to the patient of the medication they had been offered and when they should return to the hospital. “The system also allows the campus to keep all the medical history of the patient, such that when they are offered an alternative medication and they report it through the toll-free line, we can simply check if they were assigned the right medical drugs or they were offered an alternative,” Vanderwal said.

Furthermore, she said the system permitted them to monitor their mobile hospital outreaches, which have hosted over 5 000 patients and resulted in over 1.2 million visits by clients.
It was also said to allow certain storage facilities to be accessed by those in management and they had to log into it, through with usernames, which would report the time and period that particular storage facility was accessed, state by who and what they had taken from it. Vanderwal said leading to establishing the Miracle Centre at Sidvokodvo; they had rendered medical services in their house in Manzini. This, she said, was done through donations from friends and family who would donate to them so that they could assist the public to get medical assistance.

The executive director said the services they rendered were free to the public and their target was the folks from rural areas, as they lacked the resources to reach medical facilities and or had to choose between buying food and travelling to a health facility. Since their expansion to the Miracle Campus, which has 21 structures constructed by in-house personnel, they were now attending to a minimum of 1 000 people per day. Rendering the services to the public, she said, was 98 per cent personnel of emaSwati in their staff of 700 people. Also, she said their system had monitored the disbursement of six million medication packets which have been distributed to date and 50 000 X-rays taken. It had also monitored over 650 000 laboratory services which have been provided and also 65 000 inpatient nights.

Furthermore, Vanderwal said the system had assisted in monitoring 600 devices for the Eswatini Vaccination Programme for COVID-19 (ESWAVAX). She said they had also administered 235 000 COVID-19 vaccine doses. It is worth noting that government is also in pursuit of a similar system that would deal with the challenges which are experienced at public health facilities.