Assessment of the storage of cold chain drugs in the Kumasi Metropolis

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Drugs play a crucial role for the expansion and provision of health care delivery. Whilst it is true that no product is stable indefinitely, instability may be exacerbated by poor formulation, poor packaging and poor storage conditions. Maintaining the cold chain drugs is an essential part of drug storage conditions. This ensures stable, effective, potent and safe drugs for patients. In a developing country like Ghana, faulty procedures for cold chain drugs storage may occur. In spite of hundreds of thousands of dollars spent in past few years for the provision and maintenance of suitably constructed and equipped storage facilities and training at every level in the public and private sector for the distribution, cold chain drugs are still poorly managed. In response to increasing complaints from Pharmacy Council and the concern by patients of receiving a quality healthcare, the demand for an assessment of the storage of cold chain drugs could not be ignored in view of the potential benefits of such studies. The study assessed the cold chain drugs available, level of training of personnel who handle the cold chain, equipment used for the storage, the temperature monitoring system. A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted. An open-ended questionnaire was used to interview 19 cold managers and checklist to ascertain the number, types of equipment and temperature monitoring system. Out of the 19 cold chain managers interviewed 13 were Pharmacists, 5 Nursing Officers and I Technical Officer, with 6 having undergone In-service training. Of the 20 cold chain rooms visited all had refrigerators/freezer for cold chain drugs storage. Only 12 (40%) had a thermometer and also for monitoring the internal. 32 refrigerators/freezers inspected 18 (56%) had their internal temperatures higher than the expected. Moreover, other faulty procedures such as storage of food and drugs on door shelves of refrigerators indicated that the storage of cold chain drugs in the Kumasi Metropolis was inadequate. Provision of adequate equipment and In-service training for the cold chain managers will ensure a better cold chain system.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Community Health, School of Medical Sciences in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Health Services Planning and Management, 2004