Training Manual on Rational
Management and Use of
Medicines at the Primary
Health Care Level
These guidelines were produced in collaboration
with the World Health Organization
Training Manual on
Rational Management and
Medicines at the Primary
Health Care Level
Part 1. Standard treatment guidelines
Chapter 1. Bacterial infections 19
Typhoid fever 26
Chapter 2. Dental and oral diseases 29
Dental abscess 30
Dental caries 31
Periodontal disease 32
Chapter 3. Emergencies and trauma 35
Allergic shock 36
The mention of speciﬁc companies or of certain
manufacturers’ products does not imply that they Fractures 48
are endorsed or recommended by the World Health Pain 49
Organization in preference to others of a similar nature Poisoning 50
that are not mentioned. Errors and omissions excepted,
the names of proprietary products are distinguished by Wounds 52
initial capital letters. Chapter 4. Eye conditions 53
The World Health Organization does not warrant Conjunctivitis 54
that the information contained in this publication is
complete and correct and shall not be liable for any Trachoma 56
damages incurred as a result of its use. Chapter 5. Gastrointestinal diseases 59
Diarrhoea and dehydration 60
Design by Ahmed Salah Mostafa
Gastritis and peptic ulcer 74
Printed by In Sight Graphics, Cairo, 2007
Chapter 6. Nutritional disorders 77 Pneumonia 132
Anaemia, iron deﬁciency 78 Sinusitis, acute 136
Micronutrient malnutrition 82 Tuberculosis 137
Pellagra (nicotinamide deﬁciency) 84 Chapter 10. Syndromic
Protein–energy malnutrition 85 management of sexually
Moderate acute malnutrition 87 transmitted infections 147
Severe acute malnutrition 89 Genital ulcer in men and women 148
Vitamin A deﬁciency 92 Lower abdominal pain 150
(xerophthalmia) Urethral discharge in men 152
Vaginal discharge 154
Chapter 7. Obstetrics and
gynaecology 95 Summary treatment guideline 158
Breast abscess 96 Chapter 11. Skin conditions 167
Breast infection 96 Abscess 168
Cystitis 97 Boils 169
Postpartum haemorrhage 98 Eczema 170
Sore nipples 99 Herpes zoster 171
Vaginal candidiasis 100 Impetigo 172
Chapter 8. Parasitic diseases 101 Ringworm 173
Amoebiasis 102 Scabies 174
Ascariasis 103 Skin ulcer 176
Enterobiasis 104 Chapter 12. Viral infections 179
Giardiasis 105 HIV/AIDS 180
Hookworms 106 Measles 195
Kala-azar 108 Poliomyelitis 197
Malaria 109 Viral hepatitis 198
Schistosomiasis 118 Part 2. Training manual on rational
Taeniasis 119 management and use of medicines
Trichuriasis 120 at the primary health care level
Chapter 9. Respiratory infections 123 Chapter 1. Health centre
Asthma 124 administration 203
Bronchitis, acute 125 Planning 204
Bronchitis, chronic 126 Management 208
Common cold 127 Chapter 2. Medicine management 213
Otitis externa 128 Ordering and receiving of 214
Otitis media, acute 129 medicines
Otitis media, chronic 131 Storage and stock management of 218
4 INTRODUCTION 5
Good dispensing practices 225 Foreword
Chapter 3. Rational use of
medicines 229 It is a great honour to write an introduction to this
Essential medicines concept 230 second edition of the manual, Somalia standard
The Rational use of medicines 235 treatment guidelines and training manual on
Use and misuse of injections and rational management and use of medicines at the
infusions 242 primary health care level. The ﬁrst edition of this
Non-medicine treatment 246 manual has been a major source of reference
Making a diagnosis 251 for many health workers in the ﬁeld since its
publication in 1998. It has also been a useful tool
The Rational use of tuberculosis
to educate the Somali health professionals on
the optimal use of medicines. Nine years after its
Chapter 4. Medicine supervision publication, the WHO ofﬁce for Somalia is pleased
guideline 261 to release an updated version of the manual in a
How to investigate medicine use 262 pocket format—a request frequently made by
in health facilities the users.
Annex 1 The essential medicines concept, fully and
Somalia essential medicines list 280 properly applied, can improve heath care and
2006 contribute to human development, but only if the
medicines are of good quality, are safe, available,
affordable and rationally used. It is close to 30 years
since the inception of the concept of the essential
medicines. Today, it is a universally accepted tool
to lead people to better health with the available
technology. More than 160 countries today have
national essential medicine lists, while over 100
countries have national medicine policies in place
or being developed. Access to essential medicines
has grown from around 2 billion people in 1977
to close to 4 billion today. A concept which was
associated with poor countries has now achieved
wide recognition even among rich countries.
Despite all the achievements, the concept still
remains elusive to millions of people around
the world, including for many Somalis. WHO
studies show that irrational use of medicines,
such as excessive use of antibiotics, overuse of
injections, self-medication and the poor storage
of pharmaceuticals, are major impediments to a
healthy pharmaceutical sector—so is the case in
WHO has taken the lead in improving the
accessibility, optimal storage and proper use of
medicines in Somalia. During the past few years, a to the second edition
large number of training courses have been held
on essential medicines. WHO has rehabilitated Somalia standard treatment guidelines and
and improved medicine warehouses in several training manual on rational management and use
parts of the country, including training of new of medicines at the primary health care level has
staff. Access to vaccines and essential medicines, been written primarily for health professionals
particularly in the areas of tuberculosis and working in maternal and child health and
malaria, has been improved. An essential outpatient facilities. However, the book will be of
medicines list covering both primary health major help to any one working with medicines,
care and hospital level, and a curriculum on the particularly doctors, nurses and pharmacists
rational use of drugs at the primary health care working in hospitals as well as those in private
level have been compiled. WHO could not have clinics and pharmacies.
succeeded in all these activities without the full Part 1: Somalia standard treatment guidelines
support, collaboration and interaction of the local describes the treatment aspects of diseases
health authorities, Somali health professionals, commonly encountered in Somalia. Each section
and other international organizations working in consists of a short deﬁnition followed by common
the health sector. WHO Somalia appreciates the symptoms and signs of the disease, medicine
time that many organizations and individuals treatment and prevention. The language is
took to share ideas, discuss their own practical simple and is expected to pose no problems to
experiences, and review drafts of these manuals. the readers. This section is written in alphabetical
For all those who use it, we hope that this order from Bacterial to Viral infections and
new edition of the manual, Somalia standard readers can quickly refer to the section they are
treatment guidelines and training manual on interested in.
rational management and use of medicines at the Part 2:Training manual on rational management
primary health care level will continue to provide and use of medicines at the primary health care
guidance to Somali health professionals on the level can be studied individually or in groups. It
optimal use of medicines. can also be used as a teaching companion on
the rational management and use of medicines.
Dr Ibrahim Betelmal The manual starts with a chapter on health
Former WHO Representative for Somalia, centre management and administration, since
September 2006 proper management of a clinic or health centre
is prerequisite for smooth running of services. A
chapter on management of medicines, covering
the areas of procurement, storage and dispensing,
is followed by a chapter on rational use of
medicines, including some important aspects of
irrational practices such as misuse of injections,
overuse of antibiotics and the importance of
making a correct diagnosis. The ﬁnal chapter
provides a methodology to investigate medicine
use in health facilities.
We are conﬁdent that this publication will prove to • The following medicines are added to the
be of great assistance to all medicine prescribers new list: dexamethasone injection; silver
and particularly to those in primary health care sulfadiazine; ranitidine; zinc sulfate; cetrimide
centres, and also to all health providers in the + chlorhexidine; dextrose 50%; insulin short
public and the private sector. Properly used, it acting, insulin medium acting; streptomycin;
is hoped it will reduce the misuse and irrational meglumine antimoniate injection; and
management and use of drugs in the country. tuberculosis medicines based on the ﬁxed dose
This manual was ﬁrst published in 1998 under combinations.
the title Somalia standard treatment guidelines • The following medicines are deleted from
and rational use of drugs at the primary health care the new essential medicines list (Annex 1):
level. This second edition has been thoroughly syrup forms of amoxicillin and cotrimoxazole;
revised and made into a pocket format. Besides zinc oxide; cimetidine; diazepam tablets;
correcting some spelling mistakes and minor digoxin tablets; hydrocortisone eye ointment;
changes and additions to the text here and there, metrifonate tablets; nystatin oral tablets;
the title has been changed to reﬂect a change in pilocarbine eye drops;tetanus immunoglobulin;
structure of the book. Volume I of the ﬁrst edition tetracycline tablets; and ergometrine tablets.
now comprises Part 2. Training manual on rational
management and use of medicines at primary Part 2
health care level. Volume II now comprises Part • Chapter 2, a completely new section, 2.3
1. Somalia standard treatment guidelines. Within dealing with good dispensing practice, has
those revised sections the following are the main been added.
changes. • Tables on medicine management dealing with
medicine ordering and receiving have been
Part 1 deleted and replaced by text. Many readers
• A “REMINDER” is added for all diseases expressed difﬁculty understanding these
susceptible to outbreaks and which need to be forms. Different books use different forms but
reported. since the content in those forms is largely the
• New topics in this manual include sections same, a simple text explaining the different
on kala-azar, micronutrients and sexually parts of such forms is more easily understood.
transmitted diseases based on syndromic • Medicine supervision guideline – this section
management. presents a medicine supervision guideline,
• Sections dealing with pneumonia, tuberculosis, which will help health providers and health
emergencies and diarrhoea are replaced by administrators to enhance the quality of the
more expanded chapters. work they are doing in the area of the rational
• The section on protein energy malnutrition use of medicines. The section presents a simple
has been substantially revised and updated, methodology to investigate the proper storage
the text shortened and the terms made more and use of medicines at the primary care level.
• The chapter on sexually transmitted diseases Annexes
has been replaced with a section based on • Annex 1 is the updated version of the Somalia
syndromic management. Essential Medicines List. The medicines are
• The table summary of dosage recommendations classiﬁed according to the type of health facility
has been deleted. where they should be used. i.e. level A health
10 INTRODUCTION 11
facilities close to referral sites (hospitals), level
B remote health facilities without the ability Acknowledgements
to refer urgently, and hospital referral sites.
Medicines required for special programmes are This new edition of the Somalia standard
also included. treatment guidelines and training manual on
rational management and use of medicines at the
Yakoub Aden Abdi MD, PhD primary health care level was revised and written
WHO Consultant on Essential Medicines by Dr Yakoub Aden Abdi, who served as a short
term consultant for WHO Somalia. We would like
to express to Dr Aden Abdi our sincere thanks for
the valuable and oustanding work done during
his assignment. Special thanks are due to Dr
Stephen Lonsdale for the ﬁnal review and revision
of this new edition of the guidelines and for his
contribution as a short-term consultant in Somalia
in the 1990s. Many people have contributed to
the development of this manual. WHO Somalia
appreciates the time that many organizations
and individuals took to share ideas, discuss their
own practical experiences, and review different
drafts of the manual. Thanks are due to the WHO
Somalia staff and to the Regional Ofﬁce for the
Eastern Mediterranean for its continuous advice
and technical guidance.
We are sincerely thankful to all the
different international organizations and
nongovernmental organizations who
contributed in one way or the other to the
development of this manual. We are especially
grateful to UNICEF Somalia, Food Security
Assessment Unit, International Committee of
the Red Cross (ICRC) and other international
and national nongovernmental organizations
working in Somalia .
WHO Somalia highly appreciates the
prominent role that the Essential Medicines
Working Group of the Somali Aid Coordination
Body (SACB) has played in the process of revising
this manual. We are also thankful to the Health
Sector Coordinator of the SACB and his team for
all the meetings, good comments and constant
support during the progress of this work.
Of course, the revision of this manual would
not have been possible without the full support
of the health authorities and Somali health AIDS acquired immunodeﬁciency
professionals. We are particularly grateful to syndrome
all the many Somali doctors and nurses whose ASA acetyl salicylic acid
comments enriched this new edition of the CSF cerebrospinal ﬂuid
manual. DOTS directly observed treatment, short-course
WHO Ofﬁce for Somalia EPI Expanded Programme on Immunization
September 2006 FIFO ﬁrst-in-ﬁrst-out
GV gentian violet
HIV human immunodeﬁciency virus
INN internationally recognized
IU international units
LP lumbar puncture
MCH maternal and child health
NSAID non-steroidal anti-inﬂammatory drug
OPD outpatient department
ORS oral rehydration salts
PEM protein–energy malnutrition
PHC primary health care
PID pelvic inﬂammatory disease
PO per os (by mouth)
PPH postpartum haemorrhage
RBC red blood cells
SACB Somali Aid Coordination Body
STD sexually transmitted diseases
TBA traditional birth attendants
URI upper respiratory infection
UTI urinary tract infections
WBC white blood cells
• Typhoid fever
MENINGITIS is a notiﬁable disease REMEMBER!
It is vital to exclude malaria. If it is not
possible to exclude malaria treat the patient
Meningitis for both diseases. Take thin and thick
blood slides and then give ﬁrst-line malaria
Meningitis is a serious infection of the Management
membranes covering the brain (meninges). a) Lumbar puncture (LP) not possible,
The disease may cause death if untreated. It is patient can reach hospital within 3 hours:
usually of bacterial origin, the most common • Make a blood slide;
organisms being Neisseria meningitides, • Give a single dose of ﬁrst-line malaria
Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus treatment (see under malaria);
inﬂuenzae. • REFER immediately with the blood slide.
b) Lumbar puncture (LP) not possible,
Signs and symptoms patient cannot reach hospital within 3
In neonates Signs may be vague and hours:
non-speciﬁc • Make a blood slide;
Failure to suck • Give a single dose of ﬁrst-line malaria
Vomiting repeatedly treatment (see under malaria);
Fever may be absent • Give a single dose of benzylpenicillin
Bulging fontanel (may intravenously (see below);
come late) • Give a single dose of chloramphenicol
Signs of shock intramuscularly (see below);
• REFER with blood slide;
In children >1 High fever
month and Convulsions c) Lumbar puncture (LP) possible, patient
adults Headache and vomiting
cannot reach hospital within 3 hours:
Neck stiffness (Kernig’s
• Do a lumbar puncture without delay;
• Make a blood slide;
Stiff neck or back (may be • Give a single dose of ﬁrst-line malaria
absent) treatment (see under malaria);
Sensitivity to bright lights • Give a single dose of benzylpenicillin
Rash (in meningococcal intravenously (see below);
septicaemia) • Give a single dose of chloramphenicol
intramuscularly (see below);
• REFER with blood slide and CSF in a sterile
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES BACTERIAL INFECTIONS Chapter 1 - 21
Doses PERTUSSIS is a notiﬁable disease
• Chloramphenicol, given intramuscularly:
• Adults 1 g;
• Children 25 mg/kg (neonates 6.25 mg/ Pertussis (whooping cough)
kg, under 1 year 12.5 mg/kg);
• Benzylpenicillin, given i.v. if possible, Description
otherwise i.m.: Whooping cough is a childhood disease
• Adults 5 up to 14.4 g daily in divided characterized by paroxysmal cough,
doses; inspiratory whoops and tenacious sputum,
• Children 180–300mg/kg daily in 4–6 which is caused by the bacterium Bordetella
doses. pertussis. In affected children it might lead to
Meningococcal meningitis is a medical
emergency and benzylpenecillin should Signs and symptoms
be given immediately if the diagnosis is • Spasmodic cough, which is worse at night,
suspected and is often followed by choking and
Supportive treatment • Characteristic inspiratory whoops
• Give diazepam slow i.v. or rectal if
(occurring after the ﬁrst week of the
• Adults: 10–40 mg;
• Conjunctival haemorrhages (from
• Children under 3 years: maximum dose
• Infants less than 3 months may develop
• Children over 3 years: maximum dose
apnoeic episodes or periods of hypoxia
(cyanosis) without cough, which may be
Repeat dosage if necessary;
• Antipyretics such as aspirin or
• Ensure hydration and nutrition
• In the early stage (<1 week), erythromycin
(nasogastric, if necessary).
may help to prevent the spread of the
REMEMBER! disease to others. Give: 7.5–12 mg/kg every
The importance of obtaining a CSF 6 hours for 7 days;
specimen for visual inspection to • During the paroxysmal stage, antibiotics
conﬁrm meningitis, even in the absence are of NO use. Treatment is largely
of laboratory facilities, cannot be symptomatic;
overemphasized. A CSF can be safely • Advise the mother:
obtained (using standard technique) with a • to ensure adequate hydration;
sterile needle when spinal needles are not
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES BACTERIAL INFECTIONS Chapter 1 - 23
• to remove any tenacious strands of Signs and symptoms
sputum from the oropharynx;
• and most importantly to continue good In infants Baby cannot suck
nutrition of the child; Infected umbilicus
• REFER infants less than 3 months, the
very weak and malnourished and those
with complications (e.g. pneumonia,
Cyanosis during spasms
convulsions, dehydration, malnutrition).
REMEMBER! In older Risus sardonicus
Cough medicines, sedatives, mucolytics and children (mocking smile)
antihistamines are useless and must NOT be Trismus (lockjaw)
given. Opisthotonos (stiff arched
Spasms (initially induced
Prevention by any stimuli but later
• Immunization (part of the DPT spontaneous)
• Avoid contact with other children with
whooping cough Management
• Consider giving close contacts of • REFER as quickly as possible. If quick
the child with pertussis prophylactic referral is not possible:
erythromycin. • Nurse the patient in a place with minimal
sensory stimuli; noise and unnecessary
touching can provoke ﬁts;
Tetanus • Clean the umbilicus/wound with soap and
water or antiseptic solution;
Description • Control the spasms by:
A bacterial infection characterized by • Diazepam in a generous dose: start with
involuntary spasm, usually fatal if untreated. 10-40 mg i.v. or rectal;
Tetanus bacteria live all around us in the • Repeat the dose if needed;
air and in the ground. The port of entry is • Give benzylpenicillin (i.m., or slow i.v.):
either an uncleaned wound or, in the case of • Adults: 1 million IU 6 hourly for 7 days;
neonates, the umbilical cord. The incubation • Children: 50 000 IU/kg every 6 hours for
period is between 2 and 60 days. 6 days.
If available give human tetanus immuno-
globulin 500 IU i.m. to neutralize free toxin.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES BACTERIAL INFECTIONS Chapter 1 - 25
If only horse antitenanus serum is available, • Mental confusion
give 10 000 IU i.v. (after a small subcutaneous • Deafness
test dose) and 750 IU/day to the wound for • Splenomegaly, usually at the end of the
three days. ﬁrst week.
• Education of traditional birth attendants • Intestinal perforation
(TBAs); • Intestinal bleeding
• Cleanliness during delivery; • Acute cholecystitis
• Vaccination of pregnant women with • Sepsis
tetanus toxoid, once during the ﬁrst • Pneumonia
antenatal visit and the second at least 1 • Meningitis
month after the ﬁrst and no later than 1 • Sepsis (typhoid abscess can occur almost
month before delivery; anywhere)
• Routine immunization of all children with • Septic arthritis and osteomylitis
DPT. • Renal disease (failure or nephritic
TYPHOID is a notiﬁable disease Management
• Good nursing care is essential;
• Observe closely for complications;
Typhoid fever • Treat fever and hydrate;
• Antibiotic treatment: Chloramphenicol
Deﬁnition capsule 250 mg:
Typhoid is a systemic illness caused by a • Adults: 500 mg 6-hourly for 14 days;
bacterium, Salmonella typhi, which infects • Children: 25 mg/kg 6-hourly for 14 days;
the small intestine and the blood stream via Alternative: Cotrimoxazole
the lymphatic system. The infection may be (sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim) orally:
transmitted in water and food and is dose • Adults: 960 mg 12-hourly for 14 days;
related. • Children: 24 mg/kg 12-hourly for 14
Signs and symptoms • If the patient cannot take oral medications
• High fever which persists and you cannot REFER, give the same dose
• Constipation in the early stage i.v., but switch to oral therapy as soon as
• Abdominal pain and diarrhoea in the possible.
second week of illness
• Severe headache
• Low pulse in the presence of high fever
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES BACTERIAL INFECTIONS Chapter 1 - 27
Dental and oral diseases
• Dental abscess
• Dental caries
• Periodontal disease
Dental abscess Dental caries
Dental abscess is a collection of pus around The formation of holes in the teeth–decay
the affected tooth, which may spread into of the teeth. This happens mainly as a result
the surrounding tissue. A dental abscess may of poor oral hygiene (e.g. teeth not brushed)
develop from gum disease or dental decay. but could also be the result of trauma where
bacteria attacks and corrodes the teeth. In
Signs and symptoms adults khat chewing could be a major cause
• A constant throbbing pain of tooth damage because of the high level of
• The tooth is painful when tapped with tannins in the khat leaves.
• There may be tender swelling on the gum Signs and symptoms
around the affected tooth • Pain after hot or cold foods or drinks
• There may be a discharge • Pain may be intermittent, severe sharp or
• The infection may spread through adjacent constant
tissues causing facial or neck swelling or • A hole or black spot may be visible on the
difﬁculty opening the mouth tooth.
• There might be fever.
Management • Clean the hole in the tooth wall, removing
• Give paracetamol 500 mg tablets: all food particles;
• Adults and children over 12 years: 1–2 • Rinse the mouth with warm salt water;
tablets 6-hourly; • Give paracetamol 500 mg tablets:
• Children 8–12 years: 1 tablet 6-hourly; • Adults and children over 12 years: 1–2
• Children: 3–7 years: ½ tablet 6-hourly; tablets 6-hourly;
• Children: 1–2 years ¼ tablet 6-hourly; • Children 8–12 years: 1 tablet 6-hourly;
• Warm saline gargles; • Children: 3–7 years: ½ tablet 6-hourly;
• If high fever, give penicillin v 500 mg 6- • Children: 1–2 years ¼ tablet 6-hourly;
hourly and REFER. • REFER for treatment to dental practitioner.
• Brush teeth after every meal if possible
and at bedtime;
• Tooth decay and cavities must be corrected
• Minimize sugar intake, particularly in
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES DENTAL AND ORAL DISEASES Chapter 2 - 31
• Avoid cigarette smoking and khat • Children 8–12 years: 1 tablet 6-hourly;
chewing. • Children: 3–7 years: ½ tablet 6-hourly;
• Children: 1–2 years ¼ tablet 6-hourly;
• In severe cases, REFER.
Periodontal disease (gum
• Brush teeth after every meal if possible
and at bedtime;
Deﬁnition • Tooth decay and cavities must be corrected
Inﬂammation or degeneration of tissues promptly;
that surround and support the teeth: • Minimize sugar intake, particularly in
gingiva, alveolar bone, periodontal ligament children;
and cementum. Periodontal disease • Avoid cigarette smoking and khat
most commonly begins as gingivitis and chewing.
progresses to periodontitis.
Signs and symptoms
• Bleeding of the gum
• Bad smelling breath
• The presence of plaque, especially around
the necks of teeth and on the gum;
• Swollen red gums
• Recession of the gums exposing the root
of the teeth
• The teeth may be loose in the gums.
• Effective brushing to remove plaque;
• Gargle with hot water and salt after meals
and before bed;
• Increased intake of fruits;
• In case of pain, give paracetamol 500 mg
• Adults and children over 12 years: 1–2
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES DENTAL AND ORAL DISEASES Chapter 2 - 33
Emergencies and trauma
Accidents causing major and minor
injuries happen frequently. People
with injuries will come to the health
facility for advice and treatment.
Injuries may take different forms and
can be serious and life-threatening.
There may be visible bleeding.
Sometimes the bleeding may be in
the internal organs and you cannot
The most common conditions,
which might present acutely at the
health facility, are:
• Allergic shock
Allergic shock Management
• Lie patient down with legs elevated;
• Clear the airway;
Description • IMMEDIATELY inject 0.5 ml adrenaline
Allergic shock is also called anaphylactic 1:1000 (1 mg/ml) i.m. or 0.01 ml/kg in
shock or anaphylaxis. This reaction is often children;
caused by an injection of a medicine, but can • This dose of adrenaline can be repeated
also be caused by oral medication, food or every 10 minutes until the patient is
by stings of bees and wasps. The reaction is better.
most frequently seen with: • If despite your treatment the patient does
• Antibiotics (penicillin injections are the not improve, REFER.
• Antitoxins made out of horse serum, e.g. Anaphylactic shock can be fatal. If you suspect
• Snake antivenom that is what happening you must administer
• Tetanus antitoxin ADRENALINE WITHOUT DELAY. Administering
• Rabies antisera adrenaline to someone not actually suffering
• Food (nuts, eggs, ﬁsh) an anaphylactic reaction is extremely unlikely
• Bee stings. to do harm. Withholding adrenaline from
someone who is suffering an anaphylactic
REMEMBER! reaction may prove FATAL.
The risk of a serious reaction is greater in
a person who has previously been given
these medicines or antisera, especially if Prevention
this person had an allergic reaction such • Use injections only when absolutely
as itching, swelling or breathing difﬁculties necessary;
(even if it was hours or days after the • Always ask for a history of medicine
medicine was given). reaction before giving an injection.
Signs and symptoms REMEMBER!
• Swelling of lips or itchy rash In the management of anaphylaxis there
• Cool, clammy skin (cold sweat) are no contraindications to the use of
• Weak, rapid pulse adrenaline.
• Low blood pressure
• Cyanosis Bites
• Difﬁculty in breathing; (asthma like
• Loss of consciousness Description
• Tinnitus. Animal bites can easily cause infections and
severe pain. A very dangerous bite is that of
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES EMERGENCIES AND TRAUMA Chapter 3 - 37
a rabid dog. When a patient presents with a Bleeding
bite wound you have to be cautious. Human
bites usually cause severe infections.
Management Bleeding may occur from external wounds or
• Any patient presenting with bite wounds from body openings. In accidents bleeding
requires antibiotics; may be happening internally without any
• Clean all bite wounds thoroughly with initial signs.
soap and water or an antiseptic;
• Check the patient’s tetanus immunization Management
status and treat accordingly; External bleeding
• Report a suspected rabid dog to the To prevent a patient from losing a lot of
veterinary ofﬁcer or any other concerned blood and going into shock, it is important
authority. REFER the patient if rabies that the bleeding is stopped as soon as
vaccination is required; possible. Patients presenting with bleeding
• NEVER stitch a bite. Stitching locks the may be treated as follows:
bacteria inside the wound and an infection • If bleeding is from a limb, elevate the
is the inevitable result; limb;
• In a suspected poisonous snakebite, the • Apply pressure on the bleeding point for
wound should be cleaned as above, and 5 minutes. For epistaxis (nose bleeding)
the patient REFERRED. squeezing the nostrils together with the
head down is often sufﬁcient. On other
sites, apply a pressure bandage if needed;
REMEMBER! • If you are skilled in stitching, you may
Poisonous snakebites may have serious arrest the bleeding by stitching a wound.
consequences. The patient may lose the If not, REFER the patient after applying a
affected limb or may even die. Always pressure bandage: put a sterile pad over
REFER immediately if a patient looks sick, the bleeding point and ﬁrmly apply a
shows difﬁcult breathing or has developed bandage over it (not too tight as this may
a large swelling of the bitten area within 2 prevent normal blood circulation).
hours after the bite. However do not panic,
reassure the patient. Do not put a tight
In some accidents the patient may have
tourniquet on the affected limb and do
suffered injuries of the internal organs. This
not incise the wound. More damage may
is usually accompanied by bleeding, which
be done by stopping the blood circulation
cannot be seen. However, the nature of the
than the snakebite.
injury and the signs and symptoms may
give you an indication of the location and
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES EMERGENCIES AND TRAUMA Chapter 3 - 39
seriousness of the bleeding. Well-known Burns
causes of internal bleeding are:
• Ruptured spleen (e.g. child fell out of a
• Lung tissue damage (e.g. fractured ribs); Burns can be serious wounds caused by open
• Ruptured liver (e.g. road accidents); ﬁre, electricity or hot ﬂuids such as water, oil
• Ectopic pregnancy (ask for date of last or porridge. A large burn is more dangerous
menstrual period); than a small burn and a deep burn is more
• Ruptured uterus (with or without dangerous than a superﬁcial burn. A burn
postpartum haemorrhage). on the face or hand is more dangerous than
A patient with internal bleeding can easily a burn on the abdomen or on the back. For
go into shock. Therefore, if you suspect every burn you need to ask yourself three
internal bleeding, ALWAYS LOOK FOR SIGNS questions:
OF SHOCK: • How big is the burn?
• Rapid and weak pulse • How deep is the burn?
• Low or not measurable blood pressure • Where is the burn?
• Fast shallow breathing
• Restlessness How big is the burn?
• Cool, clammy skin A large burn causes more pain and more
• Cyanotic (blue) lips and /or nails easily becomes infected. If the burn affects
• Thirst. a large area, a lot of ﬂuid and protein are lost
and the patient may go into shock. If the burn
REMEMBER! is more than twice the size of the patient’s
Do not remove any penetrating foreign hand size, then the patient is in danger of
bodies. dehydration. You must give oral rehydration
salts (ORS) and refer.
Management of internal bleeding A hand area is about 1% of the total body
• Always REFER the patient immediately, surface area.
accompanied by 1 or 2 blood donors and
a nurse or medical assistant; REMEMBER!
• If possible, put up a drip of i.v. ﬂuid If the area of the burn is more than twice
(normal saline if possible) and make it the size of the patient’s hand, give ORS or
run fast; any ﬂuid and REFER.
• Take blood for grouping and cross-
matching if possible. How deep is the burn?
The skin has two parts or layers. The thin
outer layer is the epidermis. The thicker inner
layer is called dermis, which contains the
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES EMERGENCIES AND TRAUMA Chapter 3 - 41
sweat glands and their follicles. Burns can be • A large area of skin loss leaves tissue wide
divided according to the layer involved: open to all forms of infections, including
First-degree burn or superﬁcial burn: • Shrinking of scar tissue can cause
• Only reddening of the skin; contractures.
Second-degree burn or partial thickness
burn: Management of burns
• Superﬁcial partial thickness: reddening of First aid for burns
the skin and blister or vesicle formation. • Keep the affected part in cold water for at
Healing is without scars; least 15 minutes;
• Deep partial thickness: the epidermis is • Give analgesics for pain (i.e. paracetamol);
destroyed but the hair follicles and sweat • Always REFER a patient with a THIRD
glands are still alive. These burns heal degree burn;
easily; • DO NOT break the blisters in a SECOND
degree burn, as they protect against
Third degree burn or full thickness burn: infection;
• The dermis is completely destroyed and • Give ORS to every patient with a burnt
raw ﬂesh exposed; body surface of more than the size of your
• Healing takes a long time and leaves two palms (2% of body surface) and REFER
Through a deep burn the patient loses body
ﬂuids, which contain much protein. In such a REMEMBER!
situation, replacement of ﬂuids will become Always cool the affected part with cold
necessary. water for at least 15 minutes to prevent
Where is the burn?
Burns on the face are serious because of
Treatment of burns
the scars and deformities they may leave.
• Clean the wound with soap and water;
Damage to the eyes may cause blindness.
• Thoroughly rinse with plenty of water;
Burns on a hand may cause contractures,
• For burns on extremities apply silver
thereby limiting its function. If a patient has
sulfadiazine 1% cream for all partial
inhaled hot smoke, the respiratory tract may
thickness burns to prevent infection;
be burnt and pneumonia may develop.
• For partial thickness burns cover with
sterile dressings, which can be changed
Complications of burns from twice daily to once a week according
Patient with burns can suffer short-term as
to circumstances and the condition of the
well as long-term complications:
• Shock can occur, due a combination of
• For facial burns and all third degree burns
body ﬂuids loss, severe pain and fever;
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES EMERGENCIES AND TRAUMA Chapter 3 - 43
• Provide pain relief for dressing changes • Cerebral meningitis
with paracetamol. • Metabolic cause: hypoglycaemia (severe
malnutrition, neonate or patient being
High-risk groups for burns treated with i.v. quinine)
• Children may fall into a ﬁre or upset hot • Epilepsy
ﬂuid over themselves; • Head injury
• An epileptic patient may fall into an open • Malaria
ﬁre; • Poisoning
• People with leprosy may not feel that an
object is burning hot. Management
Stop the convulsion:
Prevention of burns • Give slow intravenous or rectal diazepam
Most of the victims of burns are children. (2 ml amp, 5 mg/ml):
Parents have to be taught how to prevent • Children: 0.2–0.5mg/kg (max 5 mg
these burns: infants, 10 mg children);
• Do not leave small children near open ﬁres • Adults: 10–20 mg.
or stoves, or hot liquids that may spill;
• Turn handles of pans on the stove away so If needed, repeat after 10–20 minutes,
that children cannot reach them; maximum of 30 mg within 1 hour.
• Keep parafﬁn lamps and matches out of
Treatment of fever:
reach of children.
• Tepid wet towels;
• Give paracetamol tablets (500 mg):
• Adults and children over 12 years: 1–2
Teach everyone who cares for children the
danger of ﬁre.
• Children 8–12 years: 1 tablet 6-hourly.
• Children: 3–7 years: ½ tablet 6-hourly.
• Children: 1–2 years ¼ tablet 6-hourly.
Treatment of the cause:
Description • Cerebral malaria: see under malaria;
Paroxysmal involuntary movements of • Meningitis: see under meningitis;
cerebral origin with loss of consciousness • Hypoglycaemia: i.v. hypertonic solution;
often accompanied by biting of the tongue • 2 ml/kg, if you use dextrose 50%
and/or involuntary release of urine. solution
• 3 ml/kg, if you use dextrose 30%
• Epilepsy: if genuine epilepsy is suspected,
• Hyperthermia (overheating), high fever
REFER for investigation and long-term
due to any cause
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES EMERGENCIES AND TRAUMA Chapter 3 - 45
Possible causes to look for in cases of high
• Place the patient on his left side and ﬂex fever in a patient
upper leg; (coma position)
• Maintain a clear airway by removing Fever Possible causes
secretions and vomit; Fever + shivering, Malaria
• Ensure adequate nutrition and hydration sweating, headache
(nasogastric tube if necessary);
• During convulsions, put something in the Fever + general Typhoid
mouth to avoid biting of the tongue; health impairment
• When the patient is stabilized, REFER. Fever + neck Meningitis
Fever + jaundice Hepatitis
Description Fever + shock Septicaemia
Fever is a symptom of an increased body
temperature. Fever is present when the rectal Fever + respiratory Pneumonia
temperature is above 37.0°C in the morning, signs Bronchiolitis
and above 37.5°C in the evening. The
corresponding axillary temperature would Fever + bloody Dysentery
be above 37.5°C and 38.0°C, respectively. diarrhoea
High fever in newborns and infants can
cause serious and fatal complications such Fever during last Malaria
month of pregnancy Pyelonephritis
as convulsions, dehydration and death.
Fever + general Opportunistic
health impairment, infection;
• Investigate and treat the underlying
• General measures to control the fever:
• Undress the patient;
• Start tepid sponging of the skin
(lukewarm, not cold);
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES EMERGENCIES AND TRAUMA Chapter 3 - 47
• If high temperature (>40.0°C), give a This means splinting the affected part;
tepid bath; • Do not move or bend the fractured part
• Advise the mother continuous feeding more than necessary. Testing for abnormal
and hydration of the child; movement can cause more damage;
• Antipyretic treatment: paracetamol • Give pain relief (i.e. paracetamol);
500 mg tabs. • If the fracture has occurred in a large bone,
• Adults: 1 g orally 6-hourly as required such as the thigh or the pelvis, considerable
(max: 4 g/24 hours); internal blood loss may take place, and the
• Children: 10 mg/kg 6-hourly as required patient may go into shock due to blood
(max: 4 doses/24 hours). If small children, loss. Therefore for fractures of large bones
crush the tablets and mix with a sweet i.v. ﬂuid is necessary;
drink; • REFER as quickly as possible.
• If convulsions, give slow i.v. diazepam
0.2–0.5mg/kg (max. 5 mg infants, 10 mg
children), if not possible give the same REMEMBER!
dose rectally. Repeat the dose after 10 Do not carry out primary closure in any case
minutes if necessary; of open fracture.
• In unresolvable cases, REFER.
Description Pain is a common symptom in many different
Fractures may occur in any bone. They may conditions. It may alert the health worker
include an open wound, in which case it is to the possibility of an underlying medical
called an open or compound fracture, or problem. In some chronic diseases such as
the skin may be undamaged in which case AIDS, cancer etc., pain may be persistent and
it is called a simple fracture. There are many disabling. Pain is a subjective experience and
possible sites for fractures, and each should can be expressed differently by different
be dealt with in a speciﬁc way. Therefore, people and depends on emotional and/or
unless you have had speciﬁc training, follow cultural factors.
the general principles listed, and REFER.
Signs and symptoms
Management For a rational treatment of pain it is important
• If there is an open wound, clean it as to deﬁne the pain in terms of onset, duration,
thoroughly as possible and dress it, but localization, radiation, nature, association
DO NOT SUTURE IT CLOSED; with other systemic features and possible
• Stabilize the fracture as best as you can. factors that induce it.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES EMERGENCIES AND TRAUMA Chapter 3 - 49
Management Management of poisoning
• Investigate and treat the cause; • REFER ALL PATIENTS with suspected
• Symptomatic therapy. poisoning. If quick referral is not possible:
• INDUCE VOMITING:
Headache and joint pains: Paracetamol • If tablets, capsules or other kinds of
tablets (500 mg): medicines have been swallowed;
• Children 8–12 years: 1 tablet 6-hourly; • If you are certain the poison is not
• Adults and children over 12 years: 1–2 corrosive or a hydrocarbon solvent;
tablets 6-hourly; • DO NOT MAKE THE PATIENT VOMIT IF:
• Children: 3–7 years: ½ tablet 6-hourly; • You suspect parafﬁn poisoning (SMELL).
• Children: 1–2 years ¼ tablet 6-hourly; Give water/milk;
If no relief add: • You suspect poisoning with a corrosive
• For adults ibuprofen tablets (400 mg) 8 chemical e.g. bleach. Give water/milk;
hourly to be taken with food. • If the patient is drowsy and may not
• Children 8–12 years ½ tablet 8 hourly. have an adequate gag reﬂex;
• Children 3–7 years ¼ tablet 8 hourly. • If the poison was taken more than 1–2
For acute severe pain, REFER immediately. hours previously.
The best way of inducing vomiting is with
Poisoning syrup of ipecac 10 ml in children 1–10 years,
15 ml in children 12–16 years and 30 ml in
adults. Give with 300–600 ml of water to
People who swallow something poisonous
can become very ill and may even die.
Many poisonings or intoxications occur in Prevention of poisoning
children. • Keep medicines and chemicals out of the
reach of children;
Signs and symptoms • Do not put parafﬁn or other chemicals in
Symptoms of poisoning depend on the empty mineral water bottles as children
poison taken: may drink by mistake.
• Rapid respirations and cough REMEMBER!
• Vomiting or diarrhoea Keep medicines and chemicals out of the
• Convulsions reach of children.
• Frothing at the mouth.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES EMERGENCIES AND TRAUMA Chapter 3 - 51
A wound is a break in the skin and/or
damage to parts of the body under the skin
often due to a violent impact.
Signs and symptoms
• Bruising and/bleeding
• Sometimes there is major tissue damage.
Management of wounds
• Clean the wound thoroughly with soap and
water or with an antiseptic like cetrimide +
• Check the patient’s tetanus immunization
• If not immunized and the wound is dirty,
consider giving antitetanus serum or
immunoglobulin if available;
• If the wound is large and less than 6 hours
old, sticking (suture) is indicated;
• Dress the wound;
• If you are not skilled or lack the necessary
equipment, REFER the patient after
dressing the wound.
Always clean wounds thoroughly and
remove foreign bodies and dead tissue.
Never suture a dirty wound.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES
Allergic conjunctivitis is rare in children
under 1 year.
Acute inﬂammation of the conjunctivae, Purulent conjunctivitis
which may be caused by infection (viral or • Apply tetracycline eye ointment 1% in
bacterial), allergy, foreign body or chemical. both eyes, 8-hourly for 7 days.
Conjunctivitis causes redness, pus, and mild
‘burning’ in one or both eyes. Eyelids often Opththalmia neonatorum (gonococcal)
stick together after sleep. It is especially • Clean with normal saline or cooled boiled
common in children. water;
• In both eyes, apply tetracycline eye
Signs and symptoms ointment 1%, 2 hourly initially;
• The eye becomes red • Then REFER for further assessment;
• The infection may affect only one or both • Don’t forget that both parents need
eyes treatment for gonorrhoea as well.
• The infected eye(s) water(s) If not possible:
• There may be a purulent discharge ‘pus’ • Give, benzylpenicillin (i.m.): 25 000 IU/kg 6-
• Vision is normal hourly for 7 days;
• If newborn, review daily and treat the
Management mother too.
• Regular eye washing with cooled boiled Prevention of ophthalmia
• NO need for antibiotics. • Health education for mother;
Allergic conjunctivitis • Treat gonorrhoea in pregnancy;
• Avoid the causative agent if possible; • Clean the eyes of all newborn babies as
• Regular eye washing with cooled boiled above;
water; • Apply tetracycline 1% eye ointment to the
• Chlorpheniramine 4 mg tablets: eyes of all newborn babies at birth.
• Children 6 months to 1 year: ¼ tablet
twice daily as required; REMEMBER!
• Children 1–5 years: ¼–½ tablet three Opththalmia neonatorum is due to
times daily as required; gonorrhoea contracted by the newborn
• Children 5–12 years: ½–1 tablet 8-hourly from the mother at birth. Unless treated it
as required; will rapidly lead to blindness.
• Adults and children over 12 years: 1
tablet 8-hourly as required.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES EYE CONDITIONS Chapter 4 - 55
Foreign body on the cornea Stage 2
Particles of dust, dirt or loose eyelashes are About two months later, small pinkish grey
the most common foreign bodies found in lumps appear inside the upper lids. In this
the eyes. They are often under the eyelid. stage you may also be able to see that the
Management top of the cornea looks grey instead of
• Irrigate the eye using clean warm water; brown.
• It may be possible to lift the foreign body
off with a moistened swab or the corner of
After several years, the pinkish grey lumps
a clean cloth;
disappear, leaving white scars. These scars
• If the foreign body is under the upper
lid ask the patient to look down. Grasp
• make eyelids thick and keep them from
the eyelashes and pull the upper lid
downwards and outwards over the lower
• pull the eyelashes down into the eye and
scratch the eye surface, causing blindness.
• Do not attempt to remove a foreign body
embedded in the cornea; If you cannot Stage 4
remove the foreign body easily, apply After several more years the cornea becomes
tetracycline ointment, cover the eye and even more grey and scarred, causing partial
REFER. or complete blindness. The eyelids are
deformed and they do not close normally
Trachoma over the eyes. The eyelashes turn inwards
due to scarring, and they scratch the cornea.
Description The eyelids no longer protect the eyes and
Trachoma is a chronic infection of the eye repeated infections occur.
caused by Chlamydia trachomatis. It begins
like conjunctivitis but slowly gets worse. It Management
spreads from person to person by hand or
by ﬂies and is most common in places with Stage 1: Tetracycline eye ointment (1%) 3
poor hygiene and sanitation. Trachoma may times a day for 1 to 2 months depending on
last for many months or years. If not treated the response;
in its early stages it can cause partial or total Stage 2: Same treatment for 2-3 months;
blindness. Stage 3: complete cure is no longer possible;
• local disinfection;
• tetracyline 1% eye ointment.
Signs and symptoms Stage 4: Surgery, REFER
In the ﬁrst stage trachoma looks like
conjunctivitis (red, watery or pus ﬁlled eyes).
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES EYE CONDITIONS Chapter 4 - 57
• Teach mothers to wash their children’s
eyes daily with clean water;
• Use sufﬁcient quantities of soap and
• Personal hygiene (hand washing, eye
• Advise early attendance for treatment.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES
• Diarrhoea and dehydration
• Gastritis and peptic ulcer
Diarrhoea and dehydration Chronic diarrhoea
Continuous or episodic diarrhoea lasting
Description more than one month. This might indicate
Diarrhoea is the passage of 3 or more loose serious underlying diseases such as cancer
stools in 24 hours. Frequent passing of normal of the bowel or HIV infection. For all patients
consistent stools is not diarrhoea. Diarrhoea suspected to have chronic diarrhoea REFER.
is most common in children, especially those The treatment of diarrhoea in known AIDS
between 6 months and 2 years of age. It is patients is described under the section
also common in babies under 6 months who dealing with HIV infection.
are drinking cow’s milk or infant feeding
formulas. People who have diarrhoea lose a
A continuous or episodic diarrhoea lasting
lot of water and salt. The two main dangers
more than more than 14 days. In patients
of diarrhoea are dehydration, which can
with persistent diarrhoea, REFER for further
lead to sudden death and malnutrition.
Children are more susceptible to the effects
of dehydration. The most important parts Acute diarrhoea in children
of treatment of diarrhoea are prevention Acute diarrhoeal disease can affect all people,
and treatment of dehydration and zinc but severity varies in different age groups.
supplementation. Dehydration occurs rapidly in children and is
a common cause of death. Infants, weanlings
Causes of diarrhoea and bottle-fed children are especially at risk.
In children, diarrhoea is commonly caused by Travellers are also at risk.
viruses and the only treatment is rehydration.
Diarrhoea can however be caused by bacteria Signs and symptoms
or parasites. The stools may contain blood, in • The disease usually occurs in children
which case the diarrhoea is called dysentery under 2 years and is very serious in infants
(bacillary or amoebic). under 1 year.
• The onset may be very abrupt. The severity
Types of diarrhoea of the attack varies from a mild rapidly
cured condition to a fulminating fatal
Acute diarrhoea disease.
A sudden onset of change in consistency and • The stools are characteristically frequent,
frequency of stools with or without vomiting watery, and green or bright orange in
in children. Acute diarrhoea is deﬁned as colour.
diarrhoea lasting less than 14 days. Acute • Signs of dehydration which rapidly appear
diarrhoea in adults is usually self-limiting include:
and is managed by ﬂuid replacement. • Sudden weight loss
• Dry mouth
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES GASTROINTESTINAL DISEASES Chapter 5 - 61
• Depressed fontanelle
• The skin, when pinched, remains in a How to assess your patient for rehydration
fold “A” state “B” state “C” state
• Sunken and tearless eyes 2 signs 2 signs
• Fast weak pulse and a low blood present present
Condition Well alert Restless, Lethargic or
Management irritable unconscious
The steps to treat diarrhoea are shown in the
chart below. Eyes Normal and Sunken Very sunken
1 Assess degree Ask for symptoms Tears Present Absent Absent
of dehydration and look for signs
Mouth Moist Dry Very dry
2 Select Treat for any other
Thirst Drinks Thirsty, Drinks
normally, drinks poorly or
not thirst eagerly not able to
for degree of
dehydration 2. Feel
Counsel Teach mother to Skin pinch Goes back Goes back Goes back
3 mother give ORS and zinc (if quickly slowly very slowly
Explain good food 3. Decide
breast- feeding. No signs of Some Severe
dehydration signs of dehydration
4. Hydration plan
Plan A Plan B Plan C
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES GASTROINTESTINAL DISEASES Chapter 5 - 63
• If the child vomits, wait for 10 minutes.
PLAN A: Treat diarrhoea at home Then continue, but more slowly;
• Continue giving extra ﬂuid until the
Counsel the mother on the 4 rules of diarrhoea stops.
home treatment (see below): Give extra
ﬂuid, Give zinc supplements, Continue 2. Give zinc supplements (if available)
feeding, Inform when to return. • Tell the mother how much zinc to give:
• Up to 6 months: give ½ tablet per day for
1. Give extra ﬂuid (as much as the child 14 days;
will take): • 6 months or more: give 1 tablet per day
• Tell the mother to: for 14 days.
• Breastfeed the child frequently and for • Show the mother how to give zinc
longer at each feed; supplements
• If the child is exclusively breastfed, • Infants: dissolve the tablets in a small
give ORS or clean water in addition to amount of expressed breastmilk, ORS or
breastmilk; clean water, in a small cup or spoon.
• If the child is not exclusively breastfed, • Other children: tablets can be chewed or
give one or more of the following: ORS dissolved in a small amount of water in a
solution, food-based ﬂuids (such as cup or spoon
soup, rice water and yoghurt drinks) or • Remind the mother to give the zinc
clean water. supplements for the full 14 days
It is especially important to give ORS at
home when: 3. Continue feeding
• The child has been treated with Plan B or see Counsel the mother
Plan C during this visit. 4. When to return
• The child cannot return to a clinic if the
diarrhoea gets worse.
• Teach the mother how to mix and give
ORS. Give the mother 2 packets of ORS to
use at home.
• Show the mother how much ﬂuid to give
in addition to the usual ﬂuid intake:
• Up to 2 years: give 50 to 100 ml after
each loose stool;
• 2 years or more: give 100 to 200 ml after
each loose stool.
• Tell the mother to:
• Give frequent small sips from a cup;
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES GASTROINTESTINAL DISEASES Chapter 5 - 65
PLAN B: Treat some dehydration • Begin feeding the child in clinic.
with ORS • After 4 hours
• Reassess the child and classify the child
Give in clinic recommended amount of • Select the appropriate plan to continue
ORS over 4-hour period: treatment;
• Begin feeding the child in clinic.
• Determine amount of ORS to give during • If the mother must leave before
ﬁrst 4 hours. completing treatment:
• Show her how to prepare ORS solution
Age* Weight Give at home;
• Show her how much ORS to give to
Up to 4 <6 kg 200–400 ml
months ﬁnish the 4-hour treatment at home;
• Give her enough ORS packets to
complete rehydration. Also give 2
4 months 6–<10 kg 400–700 ml packets as recommended in Plan A;
up to 12 • Explain the 4 rules of home treatment:
1. Give extra ﬂuid See Plan A for
12 months 10–<12 kg 700–900 ml
up to 2 2. Give zinc supplements recommended
years 3. Continue feeding ﬂuids and
4. When to return Counsel the
2 years up 12–9 kg 900–1400 ml mother
to 5 years
*Use the child’s age only when you do not know
the weight. The approximate amount of ORS
required (in ml) can be calculated by multiplying
the child’s weight (in kg) times 75.
• If the child wants more ORS than shown,
• For infants under 6 months who are not
breastfed, also give 100–200 ml clean
water during this period.
• Show the mother how to give ORS
• Give frequent small sips from a cup;
• If the child vomits, wait 10 minutes. Then
continue, but more slowly;
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES GASTROINTESTINAL DISEASES Chapter 5 - 67
Start ﬂuid immediately. If the child can drink,
PLAN C: Treat severe dehydration give ORS by mouth while the drip is set up. Give
quickly 100 ml/kg Ringer’s Lactate Solution (or, if not
available, normal saline), divided as follows:
Follow the arrows. If the answer is “yes” go AGE First give 30 Then give 70
across. If the answer is “no” go down. ml/kg in: ml/kg in:
Infants 1 hour* 6 hours
START HERE (under
Can you give intravenous (IV) ﬂuid immediately? 12 months)
Children (12 30 minutes* 2 ½ hours
to 5 years)
*Repeat once if radial pulse is still very weak or not detectable.
• Reassess the child every 1–2 hours. If hydration
Is IV treatment available nearby (within 30 status is not improving, give the IV drip more
NO YES • Also give ORS (about 5 ml/kg/hour) as soon
as the child can drink: usually after 3–4 hours
(infants) or 1–2 hours (children).
• Reassess an infant after 6 hours and a child
after 3 hours.
Are you trained to use a nasogastric (NG) tube
• Classify dehydration. Then choose the
appropriate plan (A, B, C) to continue
NO YES • Refer URGENTLY to hospital for IV treatment.
• If the child can drink, provide the mother
with ORS solution and show her how to give
frequent sips during the trip.
• Start dehydration by tube (or mouth) with ORS
Can the child drink?
solution by giving 20 ml/kg/hour (total of
NO YES • Reassess the child every 1–2 hours:
• If there is repeated vomiting or increasing
abdominal distension, give the ﬂuid more
• If hydration status is not improving after 3
hours, send the child for i.v. therapy
Refer URGENTLY to hospital for IV or NG • After 6 hours, reassess the child. Classify
treatment dehydration, then choose the appropriate
plan(A, B, or C) to continue treatment.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES GASTROINTESTINAL DISEASES Chapter 5 - 69
Note! They are only indicated in dysentery
If possible, observe the child at least 6 hours (bacillary or amoebic).
after dehydration to be sure the mother can • Adsorbents: Adsorbents (such as kaolin,
maintain hydration by giving the child ORS pectin activated charcoal) are not useful
solution by mouth for the treatment of diarrhoea and should
not be given.
Counsel the mother • Antimotility medicines: Antimotility
• Food – Assess the child’s feeding medicines (such as loperamide) have
Is the mother breast feeding? How often? no place in the treatment of diarrhoea
Does the child take other food or ﬂuids? in children less than 5 years old. They
What does he/she take? How much and can be dangerous and even fatal if used
how often? improperly in infants. In adults they can
• Fluid – Advise the mother to increase ﬂuid give symptomatic relief, but they may
during illness. Giving extra ﬂuid can be life only prolong the illness by delaying the
saving. Give ﬂuid according to Plan A or elimination of the organism causing the
Plan B. Show the mother how to prepare diarrhoea.
• When to return – Advise the mother REMEMBER!
when to return to the health worker If the Antidiarrhoeal medicines and antiemetics
diarrhoea persists for more than 5 days. should never be used. None has proven
If there is blood in the stool. If the child is practical value. Some are dangerous. For
drinking poorly or vomiting. patients with bloody diarrhoea. REFER.
• Counsel the mother about feeding
problems If the child is not feeding well, Prevention of diarrhoea
breastfeed more frequently and for longer, • Breastfeeding – Infants should be
if possible. Give soft, varied, appetizing exclusively breastfed during the ﬁrst
favourite foods to encourage the child to 6 months. Breastfeeding should be
eat as much as possible. continued until at least 2 years of age, but
• Counsel the mother about her own health. complementary foods should normally be
Check that the mother is well and does not started at 6 months of age. If breastfeeding
have diarrhoea or other illness (HIV) is not possible, cow’s milk or milk formula
should be given from a cup. Feeding
Other treatments bottles and teats should never be used.
• Antibiotics: Antibiotics are not effective • Use of safe water: Using clean water also
against most diarrhoea-causing organisms. protected from contamination can reduce
Their indiscriminate use will make some the risk of diarrhoea.
people sicker, increase medicine resistance • Hand washing: Hands can easily spread
and deplete meagre resources (money). diarrhoeal diseases. The risk of diarrhoea
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES GASTROINTESTINAL DISEASES Chapter 5 - 71
can be substantially reduced by regular Age Morning Evening Total
hand washing of the whole family. number
• Use of latrines and safe disposal of stools. of tablets/
• Measles immunization. day
Less than 2 ¼ tab ¼ tab ½
Patients with acute bloody diarrhoea, months
especially if there is fever, usually have (< 5 kg) (Crush (Crush
bacillary dysentery (Shigella). They should (Do not tablet tablet
be treated according to the schedule below. give to a with a with a
premature spoon spoon
If possible conﬁrm that there is blood in the or jaundiced and mix mix with
stool. baby!) with water)
• Give: cotrimoxazole 480 mg water)
(sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim)
2 months to ½ tab ½ tab 1
• Children: If you know the weight of the 12 months
child, give trimethoprim (TMP) 5 mg/kg + (6–9 kg)
sulfamethoxazole (SMX) 25 mg/kg twice
12 months to 1 tablet 1 tablet 2
daily. 5 years
• The dosage below refers to tablets for adults, (10–19 kg)
each containing 80 mg TMP + 400 mg SMX
5 years to 10 1½ 1½ 3
two times a day for 5 days years tablets tablets
(Remember: Patients must complete the (20–30 kg)
full course of 5 days)
Adults 2 tablets 2 tablets 4
The very young (<5 years), the very old, and
the very sick should be treated in a hospital
if there is still bloody diarrhoea after 5 days,
give metronidazole for amoebic diarrhoea
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES GASTROINTESTINAL DISEASES Chapter 5 - 73
Gastritis and peptic ulcer Stomatitis
Inﬂammatory or ulcerative lesions of the Stomatitis is an inﬂammation of the
gastro-intestinal mucosae. oral mucosa, with or without infection,
frequently found in infants. Possible causes
include Candida albicans, herpes simplex
Signs and symptoms
or vitamin deﬁciency. If severe, it can lead
• Epigastric pain sometimes made worse
to malnutrition. Always treat carefully, and
and sometimes relieved by food;
explain the treatment to the mother. Oral
• Acid regurgitation, nausea.
candidiasis is seen in patients with AIDS,
malnutrition, diabetes or taking long-term
• Avoid spices, tobacco, carbonated drinks,
tea and coffee;
• Eat small but frequent meals;
Signs and symptoms
• Sore mouth, dysphagia, anorexia, nausea,
• Reduce stressful factors;
• Check if the patient is taking medicines
• Depending on the aetiology, there might
likely to be associated with dyspepsia i.e.
be red mucus, aphthous vesicles or white
• Symptomatic treatment:
• Aluminium hydroxide: give 2 tablets
chewed and swallowed 1 hour after Management
meals or as needed; • Candidiasis (characterized by white
• If the condition does not settle or is plaques: common in infants)
recurrent REFER (for Helicobacter testing, • Adults: The patient should take nystatin
other causes). tablets 100 000 IU every 8 hours after
food for 10 days (vaginal tablets are also
REMEMBER! • Children: Nystatin oral suspension 2
Acetylsalicylic acid is contraindicated in drops in the mouth after each feed for at
patients with a history of peptic ulcer. least 10 days. If nystatin oral suspension
is not available use 0.5% gentian violet
aqueous solution topically;
• Treat any underlying disease (e.g.
• In severe forms, consider HIV infection,
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES GASTROINTESTINAL DISEASES Chapter 5 - 75
• Herpes simplex (common in older children
• Oral toilet and apply 0.5% gentian violet
• Give paracetamol 500 mg tablets as
• Adults and children over 12 years:
1–2 tablets 6-hourly;
• Children 8–12 years: 1 tablet 6-hourly;
• Children: 3–7 years: ½ tablet 6-hourly;
• Children: 1–2 years ¼ tablet 6-hourly;
• Continue feeding and ensure good
• Treat any underlying illness (e.g. malaria,
• In severe cases, REFER.
• Scurvy (vitamin C deﬁciency)
(haemorrhagic stomatitis with bone and
joint pains in the lower limbs)
• Oral toilet;
• Apply 0.5% gentian violet aqueous
• Give vitamin C (ascorbic acid) tablets:
• Adults: 500–1000 mg daily divided in 3
doses for 2 to 3 weeks;
• Children: 100–300 mg daily divided in
3 doses for 2 to 3 weeks;
• Nutritional education.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES
• Anaemia, iron deﬁciency
• Micronutrient malnutrition
• Pellagra (nicotinamide deﬁciency)
• Protein–energy malnutrition
• Moderate acute malnutrition
• Severe acute malnutrition
• Vitamin A deﬁciency
Anaemia, iron deﬁciency Treatment
• Eat food rich in iron, e.g. meat, ﬁsh, chicken,
Deﬁnition liver and vegetables;
Anaemia is deﬁned as low concentrations of • Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months;
haemoglobin (below 12 g/100 ml in males, • Increased consumption of iron absorption
11 g/100 ml in females). enhancers e.g. lemon, citrus fruits (oranges,
• Nutritional deﬁciencies (i.e. not eating Speciﬁc treatment
foods rich in iron and/or folic acid or • Adults: Exclude underlying disease. Give
deﬁcient in vitamin A). In children it can iron 60 mg + folic acid 400 microgram
also come from breast-feeding or bottle- orally every 8 hours for at least 3 months.
feeding after 6 months without giving • Pregnant women: 120 mg iron + 800
complementary foods. There may be microgram folic acid (2 tablets) to be
poor absorption of iron and vitamins due taken for 3 months followed by preventive
to malabsorption (chronic diarrhoea or regime.
AIDs). • Children <2 years: 30 mg iron + 200
• Excessive blood loss (due to menstrual microgram folic acid (½ tablet) daily to be
bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, taken for 3 months.
hookworm infestations, schistosoma • Children 2–12 years: 60 mg ferrous sulfate
haematobium infection). + 400 microgram folic acid (1 tablet) daily
• Elevated iron needs (i.e. during for 3 months.
• Haemolysis (due to malaria, glucose 6
Signs and symptoms
• Pale insides of eyelids, gums, palms,
• White ﬁngernails
• Weakness and fatigue
• In very severe cases there might be
swelling of face and feet, rapid heartbeat
and shortness of breath.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES NUTRITION DISORDERS Chapter 6 - 79
Prevention of iron deﬁciency
Age group Indications for Dosage schedules Duration
supplementation per day
Low birth Universal supplementation Iron: 2 mg/kg body From 2–23 months
weight weight of age
Children Where the diet does not Iron: 2 mg/kg body From 6–23 months
6–23 months include foods fortiﬁed with weight/kg of age
iron or where anaemia
prevalence is above 40%
Children Where anaemia prevalence is Iron: 2 mg/kg body 3 months
24–59 above 40% weight/kg up to
months 30 mg
School-age Where anaemia prevalence is Iron: 30 mg/day 3 months
children above 40% Folic acid: 200 µg/
(above 60 day
Women Where anaemia prevalence is Iron: 60 mg/day 3 months
of child- above 40% Folic acid: 400 µg/
bearing age day
Pregnant Universal supplementation Iron: 60 mg/day As soon as possible
women Folic acid: 400 µg/ after gestation,
day starting no later than
the 3rd month, and
continuing for the
rest of pregnancy
Lactating Where anaemia prevalence is Iron: 60 mg/day 3 months postpartum
women above 40% Folic acid: 400 µg/
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES NUTRITION DISORDERS Chapter 6 - 81
REMEMBER! Poverty, lack of access to a variety of
Intake of tetracycline reduces the foods, lack of knowledge of optimal dietary
absorption of iron. Avoid taking them practices and high incidence of infectious
together. Iron taken in excess doses can also diseases are some of the factors which lead
be toxic. to micronutrient malnutrition. In Somalia,
the deﬁciencies of greatest public health
Prevention signiﬁcance are those of vitamin A, iron
• De-worming must take place as part of the and iodine. Other important micronutrients
anaemia prevention and control strategy. include nicotinamide, zinc, vitamin D and
Also consumption of fortiﬁed foods calcium.
enhances anaemia control at community Vitamin A deﬁciency is most common
level. in young children. Untreated, it can lead
• Eating food rich in iron such as meat to blindness and death. Iron deﬁciency
(spleen, kidney, liver), chicken, ﬁsh, eggs, anaemia (IDA) is the most common dietary
legumes (beans, peas) and dark green deﬁciency in Somalia affecting mostly
leafy vegetables. children and women of childbearing age.
IDA is a signiﬁcant factor in the high maternal
and neonatal death rates in Somalia. Iodine
Micronutrient malnutrition deﬁciency disorder occurs in mountainous
and ﬂood plain areas where iodine has
Description been washed away from soils. It is the most
Micronutrients are nutrients (vitamins common cause of preventable mental
and minerals), which the body needs in retardation, including low IQ (intelligence
minute quantities for growth, development quotient). Severe iodine deﬁciency can lead
and maintenance. Vitamin and mineral to cretinism, stillbirth and birth defects.
deﬁciencies have a signiﬁcant impact
on human welfare and on the economic Management
development of communities and nations. The treatment of vitamin A deﬁciency, iron
These deﬁciencies can lead to serious deﬁciency anaemia (IDA) and nicotinamide
health problems, including reduced deﬁciency (pellagra) are described in their
resistance to infectious disease, blindness, respective sections under this chapter.
lethargy, reduced learning capacity, mental Universal salt iodization (USI) is the
retardation and, and in some cases, death. recommended intervention for preventing
Among the debilitating consequences of and correcting iodine deﬁciency disorder
these dietary deﬁciencies is loss of human (IDD).
capital and worker productivity. Unlike many
other impediments, micronutrients can be
reduced with relatively small investments in
public health, agriculture and education.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES NUTRITION DISORDERS Chapter 6 - 83
Prevention and control • At a later stage the lesions become dark,
• Food-based interventions, particularly rough and scaly. There is a clear border
fortiﬁcation programmes, such as salt between the healthy and the diseased
iodization, and use of concentrated skin.
micronutrient supplements; • A child with pellagra is usually
• A mix of accompanying programmes for underweight.
infection control; • Diarrhoea often with a sore tongue and
• Community participation, including other GI symptoms may occur.
education, communication and • In adults there can be dementia or, more
information exchange; often, anxiety and depression.
• Private sector involvement.
• Nicotinamide 50 mg tablets: Adults and
Pellagra (nicotinamide children: 2 tablets 8-hourly for 28 days or
deﬁciency) until healing occurs.
Description Nicotinamide is not included in the Somalia
Pellagra is a form of malnutrition that affects primary health care essential medicines list
the skin and sometimes the digestive and and patients who have pellagra should be
nervous systems. It is common in places REFERRED to hospital for investigation and
where people eat a lot of maize (corn),or other treatment.
starchy foods and not enough beans, meat,
eggs, vegetables and other bodybuilders
and protective foods. This can also occur
among refugees or displaced persons fed Prevention
Educate people to eat foods rich in niacin
on inadequate diet. The condition is due to
such as beans, meat, groundnuts, ﬁsh, eggs
nicotinamide (vitamin B3) deﬁciency.
Signs and symptoms
• Lesions appear only on skin exposed to Protein–energy malnutrition
• In the initial stage painful, symmetrical red
lesions can be found on the forehead, top Description
of the cheeks, on the front of the neck, on Malnutrition severely increases a child’s risk
the outer parts of lower arms and on the of death. Protein–energy malnutrition (PEM)
lower legs. is identiﬁed by the lack of growth of the child.
A child will stop growing for weeks or even
months and may be suffering from acute
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES NUTRITION DISORDERS Chapter 6 - 85
malnutrition before showing any visible The cut-off-points for z-scores (standard
signs, but even when mildly malnourished, deviation scores) are:
the child’s risk of death from illness is • A z-score between –2 and –3 indicates
dramatically increased. Therefore, there are moderate severe malnutrition;
some steps that need to be considered in • A z-score below –3 shows severe acute
order to prevent malnutrition and to identify malnutrition;
and treat cases at an early stage. • The presence of oedema is also indicative
Weight, height and age are three of kwashiorkor.
measurements that can be combined to
form indicators of the nutritional status. The cut-off-points for MUAC are:
These indicators are weight-for-age (W/A), • 110 mm to 124 mm for moderate acute
height-for-age (H/A), and weight-for-height malnutrition;
(W/H). One more indicator to mention is the • <110 mm for severe acute malnutrition.
mid upper arm circumference (MUAC).
REMEMBER! Moderate acute malnutrition
Weight-for-height is recommended by WHO
as the indicator of acute malnutrition, but A child who is less than 75% of the expected
other indicators can be used if necessary. weight-for-height (W/H) with a z-score
between –2 and –3 (or MUAC between 110
In surveys, there are some cut-off points to 124 mm).
that can help us in determining what level
of acute malnutrition the child is suffering Signs and symptoms
from. These are based on z-scores. A z-score • The child is thin with mild muscle
or standard deviation score is the number of wasting;
standard deviations (SD) below or above the • The child plays less because of lack of
mean value of a reference population. The z- energy.
score of weight-for-height of an individual is
given by the following formula:
If there is a supplementary feeding
individual’s weight – median value of reference programme then admit the child to this
population programme. If there is no supplementary
SD value of reference population feeding programme, then follow the same
steps shown below.
You will need to know the SD and median
value of your reference population to
calculate the individual’s z-score.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES NUTRITION DISORDERS Chapter 6 - 87
1. Give the child energy-dense food rich in REMEMBER!
proteins and micronutrients that would When the child shows no improvement
provide 150–200 kcal/kg body weight/ because of underlying disease, the child
day. Advise the mother to give family should be referred to a treatment-feeding
food to which extra oil is added. If you centre (TFC) or to hospital for specialized
have Supermix, add more Supermix to care.
the water than usual, and add oil or fat. It
is important to:
• Feed the child frequently, 6–8 meals per Severe acute malnutrition
• Continue breastfeeding Children with severe malnutrition look sick,
• Continue feeding even if the child is weak and unhappy. Their weights are less
vomiting or has diarrhoea. than 70% of the expected weight for height
2. Treat infections: Follow instructions (W/H) with a z-score below –3 (or MUAC
under treatment of moderate acute <110 mm). In this stage you will ﬁnd signs of
malnutrition. marasmus and/or kwashiorkor.
3. Immunize the child, if not immunized.
4. Correct micronutrient deﬁciencies: Signs and symptoms
• Give iron and folate tablets during the Marasmus results from prolonged starvation.
second week of treatment as ½ or 1 It may also result from chronic or recurring
tablet per day; infections with marginal food intake. The
• Give the child vitamin A as follows: main sign is a severe wasting and the child
• Under 6 months, 50 000 IU if not appears very thin and has no fat. The affected
breastfed; child is very thin (“skin and bones”), most
• 6–12 months, 100 000 IU; of the fat and muscle mass having been
• 1–5 years, 200 000 IU; expended to provide energy. There is severe
• Give the child 100 mg/day vitamin C wasting of the shoulders, arms, buttocks and
(two 50 mg tablets) if scurvy is a risk and thighs, with no visible rib outlines.
no fresh food is available.
5. Give the child 500 mg mebendazole as Associated signs
a single dose after the second week if • A thin “old man” face
hookworm/whipworm are a problem in • “Baggy pants” (the loose skin of the
children in your area, and if the child is 2 buttocks hanging down)
years of age or older, and if the child has • Affected children may appear to be alert
not had a dose in the previous 6 months; in spite of their condition
6. Treat dehydration by giving ORS. • There is no oedema (swelling that pits on
pressure) of the lower extremities
• Ribs are very prominent.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES NUTRITION DISORDERS Chapter 6 - 89
Kwashiorkor usually affects children aged Marasmic kwashiorkor (mixed form) is a mixed
1–4 years, although it also occurs in older form of PEM, and manifests as oedema
children and adults. The main sign is oedema, occurring in children who may or may not
usually starting in the legs and feet and have other signs of kwashiorkor
spreading, in more advanced cases, to the
hands and face. Oedema may be detected Management
by the production of a deﬁnite pit as a result • REFER
of moderate pressure for 3 seconds with the
thumb over the lower end of the tibia and
the dorsum of foot. Because of oedema,
• Encourage breastfeeding up to 2 years.
children with kwashiorkor may look “fat” so
• Introduce a weaning diet at 4–6 months,
that their parents regard them as well fed.
using locally available foods, appropriately
Associated signs prepared for the child.
• Hair changes: loss of pigmentation; curly • Food for young children should be soft,
hair becomes straight, fairer, ﬁner and easy mashed, with a mixture of different
to break off; ingredients, like cereals with pulses, milk,
• Skin lesions and hypo-pigmentation: dark vegetables and fruits, meat, ﬁsh or eggs.
skin may become lighter in some places Make sure that the food is energy dense
especially in the skin folds; outer layers by adding oil or sugar.
of skin may peel off and ulceration may • All children aged 6–11 months should
occur; the lesions may resemble burns; be given a dose of 100 000 IU of vitamin
• Children with kwashiorkor are usually A every 4–6 months. Their parents should
apathetic, miserable, and irritable. They be counselled on increasing their dietary
show no signs of hunger, and it is difﬁcult intake of vitamin A rich food such as dark
to persuade them to eat. green leafy vegetables etc.
• Immunize all children and monitor their
REMEMBER! growth monthly.
Remember that these signs happen at a • Encourage family planning.
late stage and that the child may be acutely • Encourage a balanced diet for pregnant
malnourished before showing any of these and lactating women.
signs. In some cases, oedema may be the • All mothers should be given 200 000 IU of
only visible sign, while in others all the signs vitamin A within 40 days of delivery.
may be present. • Encourage nutrition education in schools
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES NUTRITION DISORDERS Chapter 6 - 91
Vitamin A deﬁciency Treatment Infants Children
(xerophthalmia) (6–11 (1–6 years)
Deﬁnition Immediately 100 000 IU 200 000 IU
Xeropthalmia is a nutritional deﬁciency of
vitamin A and is mainly seen in children. Following 100 000 IU 200 000 IU
It is associated with decreased intake day
especially in seasons when or areas where
vitamin A rich foods are not available or Two weeks 100 000 IU 200 000 IU
as a consequence of certain diseases, e.g.
measles. In xerophthalmia the eye loses its
shine and begins to wrinkle. Treat all children with prolonged or severe
diarrhoea, acute respiratory infection,
Signs and symptoms chickenpox, severe malaria and/or other
Stage 1 infections:
• Initially the person cannot see in the dark Age Dosage
Infants below 6 50 000 IU, as a single dose
months, if not
• The patient develops dry eyes breastfed
• The white part of the eyes loses its shine Infants 6–11 100 000 IU, as a single dose;
and begins to wrinkle; months
• Patches of grey bubbles (Bitots spots) may Children > 12 200 000 IU, as a single dose
form in the eyes; months
• The sclera becomes more grey; Treat all children with measles without eye
• The conjunctiva becomes more folded; signs:
• The cornea becomes cloudy (opaque);
• Cornea ulcerates easily (keratomalacia); Age Dosage
Infants < 6 50 000 IU, on day 1; repeat
Treatment months dose on day 2
Treat all forms of xerophthalmia, although
Infants 6–11 100 000 IU, on day 1; repeat
only stage 1 and 2 may be completely months dose on day 2;
Children > 12 200 000 IU, on day 1; repeat
months dose on day 2;
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES NUTRITION DISORDERS Chapter 6 - 93
• Infants: 6–11 months 100 000 IU, every 6
• Children: 12–59 months 200 000 IU, every
• Pregnant women: 10 000 IU, daily (as soon
as pregnancy is detected);
• Postpartum women: 200 000 IU, single
dose within 8 weeks of delivery;
• Eating food rich in vitamin A such as breast
milk, animal products (cheese, butter, eggs,
milk, meat), green vegetables and fruits.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES
Obstetrics and gynaecology
• Breast abscess
• Breast infection (mastitis)
• Postpartum haemorrhage
• Sore nipples
• Vaginal candidiasis
Breast abscess Signs and symptoms
• Hot, painful and swollen breast (the
swelling may be of one sector of the breast
Description due to a blocked duct)
Breast abscess is the formation of a cavity • No ﬁrm lump present with touching.
full of pus in the breast. It is usually a
complication of a breast infection. Management
• Give doxycycline 200 mg orally on ﬁrst
Signs and symptoms day and then 100 mg daily for a further 6
• Part of the breast becomes hot, swollen days.
and very painful • Give analgesics for pain: paracetamol 500
• A ﬁrm lump can be felt, usually with mg 6-hourly as required.
ﬂuctuation • Express regularly to avoid engorgement.
• Lymph nodes in the armpit are often sore • Apply hot compresses and a constriction
and swollen bandage to relieve pain in the affected
• Fever. breast.
• If the breast abscess does not respond to Cystitis
antibiotics, REFER for surgery.
• If the condition is bad and quick referral is
not possible,give doxycycline 200 mg orally Description
on ﬁrst day and then 100 mg daily until the Infection of the bladder and urethra. Very
patient reaches a hospital (doxycycline is frequent in women.
given no more than 6 days).
• Give analgesics for pain: paracetamol Signs and symptoms
500 mg tablet; 2 tablets 6-hourly as • Pain during urination
required. • Polyuria (increased urination)
• Nocturia (getting up in the night to
Breast infection (mastitis) • Cloudy and bad smelling urine
• There may be haematuria (blood in the
Mastitis is a bacterial infection of the breast
and is usually associated with lactation, but
• Exclude schistosomiasis in endemic areas.
it may occur in the absence of lactation.
• Advise increased intake of ﬂuids.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES OBSTETRICS AND GYNAECOLOGY Chapter 7 - 97
• Non-pregnant: Cotrimoxazole 960 mg • Immediately give oxytocin 10 units
(sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim) (2 intramuscularly.
tablets) orally every 12 hours for 7 days; Alternatively, ergometrine 0.2 mg (1 ml)
• Pregnant: amoxycillin 250 mg: 500 mg 8- intramuscularly.
hourly for 7 days. • Dose may be repeated if necessary in half
If no response, REFER. an hour to an hour;
• Children and men with recurrent cystitis • If this fails REFER. If immediate referral is
should be REFERRED. not possible give i.v. ﬂuids (normal saline)
Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is a loss of Description
500 ml or more of blood from the genital tract Sore nipples develop when a baby sucks
after delivery and includes all occurrences mainly from the nipples and does not
of bleeding within 24 hours after delivery. take the whole nipple and the areola into
The bleeding may be due to perineal tears, its mouth. The nipple might show cracks,
cervical tear or poorly contracted uterus. ﬁssures and bleed easily.
Signs and symptoms Management
• Vaginal blood loss of more than 500 ml • It is important to keep breastfeeding the
within 24 hours baby.
• There may be signs of shock • Stop breastfeeding only if the nipple oozes
• Pallor a lot of blood or pus.
• Fast pulse rate • In that case milk the breast by hand until
• Low or no measurable blood pressure the nipples heal.
• The patient feels cold. • Give the expressed milk to the baby using
Management • When breast feeding, make sure that the
• Examine the completeness of the nipple and the areola goes into baby’s
• Suture tears immediately; • Do not apply ointments or antiseptics
• Make sure that no placenta remains onto the nipples.
in the uterus; • Keep the breast clean.
• Rub the uterus to stimulate
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES OBSTETRICS AND GYNAECOLOGY Chapter 7 - 99
Vaginal candidiasis is a fungal infection
of the vagina. It is common, particularly in
those who are pregnant, taking antibiotics,
diabetic, taking birth control pills or with
Signs and symptoms
• White discharge, which smells like baking
• The lips of the vagina often look bright red
• Burning during urination
• Nystatin pessary 100 000 IU: Insert 1
pessary into the vagina every 12 hours for
7 days, then once in the evening for further
• If not available, apply gentian violet
solution for 14 days.
• Advise to refrain from sexual intercourse
• Treat the sexual partner with gentian violet
solution 0.5% to the penis every 12 hours
for 7 days.
• If the above treatment does not help,
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES
Rapid onset of bloody diarrhoea with fever
and severe abdominal pains may suggest
Description bacterial dysentery (Shigella). For differential
Amoebiasis is an infection of the colon diagnosis see Chapter 5.
caused by Entamoeba histolytica transmitted
by oral ingestion of cysts. Infection with
amoebae is in most cases without any Management
symptoms. Under certain circumstances • Asymptomatic patients need no
the amoebae may invade the bowel wall treatment.
causing amoebic dysentery. The infection • Symptomatic patients give metronidazole
can be spread to other organs, especially the 250 mg tablets:
liver, where it causes liver abscess. • Adults: 750 mg 8-hourly for 7 days.
• Children: 15 mg/kg 8-hourly for 7 days.
Signs and symptoms Prevention
• Commonly asymptomatic • Boiling of water (chlorination does not kill
• When the amoeba invades the tissue the cysts).
symptoms may include: • Proper faecal disposal.
• Intermittent diarrhoea and constipation
• Mild cramping abdominal pain Ascariasis (round worms)
• Tenderness over the liver
• Stools may contain mucus and blood.
• In amoebic dysentery there will be: Deﬁnition
• Episodes of frequent semi-ﬂuid or ﬂuid Ascariasis is one of the commonest
stools that contain blood, ﬂecks of helminthic infections of the small intestine
mucus, and active trophozoite in Somalia. Mode of transmission is oral.
• No, or only slight, fever Children are usually more frequently and
• Patient may become emaciated and more heavily infected than adults for the
simple reason that they put everything
into their mouth. The disease is caused by
• The onset is slow; the attacks are episodic
a type of worm (Ascaris lumbricoides), which
and can last up to 6 weeks.
belongs to the family Nematodes. Ascaris
is a long and round worm, thus sometimes
called round worms. A female ascaris can
produce up to 200 000 eggs daily.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES PARASITIC DISEASES Chapter 8 - 103
Signs and symptoms Signs and symptoms
• Vague abdominal discomfort • Pruritus ani is a characteristic symptom,
• The adult worm may be vomited or come which provokes intense scratching of
out with the stool upsetting the patient the perianal-anal region, resulting in
(and the parents) secondary bacterial infection.
• Intestinal obstruction may occur in very • The patient might also suffer:
heavy infections • sleep disturbance, restlessness, loss of
• Ascariasis may lead to malnutrition. appetite, weight loss
• vulvitis or appendicitis.
Mebendazole 100 mg tablets: give 1 tablet Management
twice daily for 3 days. Mebendazole 100 mg tablets: Adults and
children: give a single dose of 100 mg
Prevention repeated after 2 weeks.
• Environmental measures
• Provision of clean water supply Prevention
• Proper disposal of faeces. • Personal hygiene
• Health education • Bathing and hand washing
• Proper use of latrines, including hand • Cutting nails short
washing • Washing underwear, nightclothes and
• Washing of hands before handling food bedclothes
• Washing of fruits and vegetables before • Less crowded living conditions
eating. • Correct faeces disposal
• It is important to treat whole family.
Enterobiasis (thread worms)
Enterobiasis is a benign intestinal disease Deﬁnition
caused by Enterobius vermicularis (thread or Giardiasis is an infection of the small
pinworm). The worms emerge from the anus intestine by a ﬂagellated protozoal parasite,
at night to lay their eggs. Infection is often Giardia lambia. The mode of transmission is
direct transfer of eggs from the anus to the oral ingestion of the cysts.
mouth after the person scratches the anus
or perianal region.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES PARASITIC DISEASES Chapter 8 - 105
Signs and symptoms Signs and symptoms
• The majority of patients are • Asymptomatic in the majority of the
• In symptomatic patients there may be: • Ground itch at the site of penetration
• Diarrhoea • Gastrointestinal tract: dyspepsia,
• Malabsorption resulting in fatty offensive abdominal pain, abdominal distension,
stools which look like porridge sometimes diarrhoea
• Weight loss • In heavy infections, iron deﬁciency
• The disease may be self-limiting or anaemia develops
prolonged. • Anaemia due to hookworms is slow, and
the patient can be walking with Hb less
Treatment than 5 g % (walking anaemia).
Metronidazole 500 mg tablets:
• Adults: 2 g given orally as a single dose REMEMBER
once daily for 3 days. Hookworm causes loss of IRON and
• Children: 5 mg/kg orally 8-hourly for 5 anaemia
• Cooking of food and boiling of water kills • Correction of anaemia
the cysts rapidly. • Adults: Iron tablet 60 mg + folic acid 400
microgram three times daily with for 2–3
Hookworms • Children: Iron tablet 30 mg + folic acid
200 mg three times daily with meals for
Description • Deworming
Hookworms consist of Ancylostoma • Adults and children over 1 year:
duodenale and Necator americanus. The Mebendazole 100 mg twice daily for 3
adult worms are attached to the walls of days or 500 mg as a single dose.
the duodenum with hook-like teeth in their
buccal cavity where they suck human blood.
The mode of transmission is through the Prevention
skin usually of the feet. • Wearing of shoes.
• Correct disposal of faeces.
• Health education for mothers.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES PARASITIC DISEASES Chapter 8 - 107
• If kala-azar is suspected, REFER.
Leishmania spp. are responsible for several • Avoid/reduce contact with sand ﬂies using
clinically distinctive diseases characterized bed nets, insect repellents and protective
by chronic inﬂammatory inﬁltration, focal clothes with long sleeves.
necrosis and ﬁbrosis. In some, the lesions
are localized to the point of inoculation
(cutaneous) but, in others, the parasite Malaria
becomes widely disseminated (visceral).
Worldwide, some 12 million people are
estimated to be infected and over 2 million Deﬁnition
new cases occur each year. All types of Malaria is an acute infective illness caused
leishmaniasis are transmitted by the same by protozoa of the genus Plasmodium. The
biting vector, the female sand ﬂy. Visceral infection is often accompanied by attacks
leishmaniasis (kala-azar) is caused by a of fever, which may be periodic. Malaria is
parasite of the Leishmania donovani and an important cause of fever, convulsions,
is endemic in south-west Asia, the Indian anaemia and death. In pregnancy it results
subcontinent, China, the Mediterranean area, in low birth weight, abortion and maternal
East Africa and Central and South America. death. Malaria is also a major cause of
Visceral leishmaniasis is the most serious economic loss through working and learning
form and is fatal if left untreated. days lost.
There are four different species of the
Signs and symptoms malaria parasite, which infect man. These are:
Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium malaria,
Early phase Plasmodium vivax, and Plasmodium ovale. P.
• Chronic irregular fever falciparum is responsible for approximately
• Malaise 90% of malaria cases in Somalia. The
• Anorexia epidemiological feature of malaria in Somalia
• Cough is divided into: hypoendemic (North), meso-
• Diarrhoea endemic to hypoendemic in the Centre and
• Secondary infection South and hyper-endemic in the riverine
areas of the Juba and Shabelle rivers. The
Later stage incubation period for P. falciparum is 9 to 13
• Progressive enlargement of the spleen, days, and more than 15 days for the other
liver and occasionally lymphnodes three forms.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES PARASITIC DISEASES Chapter 8 - 109
Special risk groups as a result of inadequate treatment or
• Children under 5 years of age no treatment may suffer several weeks
• Pregnant women, especially in their ﬁrst or months of poor health, which is
pregnancy characterized by febrile episodes, anaemia
• Travellers from non-malarious areas (no and weakness.
A patient should be considered as having
severe malaria if any one or more of the
Signs and symptoms following are observed and the patient is
• Onset of attack may resemble a ﬂu-like
living in or gives a history of travel to malaria
illness with several days of fever, headache,
aching joints and general malaise. The
classical presentation is chills, shivering, • Altered consciousness (e.g. sleepy,
high fever and sweating which does not confused, in coma, etc)
always occur, especially in primary attacks • Not able to drink or eat or breastfeed in
of P. falciparum malaria. the case of small children
• In infants there may be only poor appetite, • Convulsions or recent history of
restlessness and loss of interest in the convulsions
surroundings. • Persistent vomiting
• For the ﬁrst few days, the fever is usually • Haemoglobinuria (dark urine, “coca-cola
irregular or even continuous and in some urine”)
cases (P. falciparum) the fever may not ever • Treatment failure within 2–3 days
settle into the classical periodicity of every • Spontaneous bleeding, gum bleeding,
48 or 72 hours. epistasis
• After the primary attack there usually • Failure to pass urine in the last 24 hours
follows an afebrile interval. Further attacks • Respiratory problems (i.e. pulmonary
similar to the ﬁrst occur every 48 or 72 oedema, difﬁcult breathing)
hours (the latter in P. malariae only). After • Jaundice
each attack, there is another afebrile • High temperature (rectal temperature
• In P. falciparum infections the symptoms • Systolic blood pressure <80 mmHg, where
(headache, fever, nausea, vomiting) are there is no i.v. ﬂuid or if the patient does
usually much more severe than with not respond to i.v. ﬂuid administration.
other malarial infections (P. vivax etc).
The mortality is much greater and there
is a greater tendency to rapidly develop
complications (coma, renal failure and
haemolytic anaemia, jaundice). Those that
survive but have continuing infection
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES PARASITIC DISEASES Chapter 8 - 111
Dose schedule by age (ACT)
Age Weight Protocol (3 days)
Severe/complicated malaria is a medical
in in kg Day 1 Day Day
emergency requiring dedicated attention years
from the most qualiﬁed health staff. In most 2 3
areas, women and children under 5 are the SP AS AS AS
most susceptible group. (500 (50 (50 (50
mg + mg mg mg
25 mg tab) tab) tab)
<1 5–10 ½ ½ ½ ½
1–<3 10–14 1 1 1 1
Medicine treatment: 1 treatment of
st 3–<5 15–19 1 2 2 2
choice 5–11 20–35 2 3 3 3
Artenisinin-based combination therapy
12+ 36+ 3 4 4 4
(ACT ): Ar tesunate + sulfadoxine-
pyrimethamine tablets. Artesunate (AS) 50
mg tablets and SP (sulfadoxine 500 mg + Malaria treatment is preferably based on
pyrimethamine 25 mg) tablets. SP is given in deﬁnitive laboratory diagnosis. Where
a single dose on the ﬁrst day in combination laboratory diagnosis is not available, then for
with artesunate. Then artesunate is given for all cases aged 5 and above, clinical diagnosis
2 more days. must be conﬁrmed by RDT (rapid diagnostic
test) and positive cases treated.
The ﬁrst treatment is provided under direct REMEMBER!
observation treatment (DOT). In meso- and hyperendemic areas (south
and central Somalia) for children under the
age of 5, the treatment is recommended
to be given based on sound clinical signs
and symptoms and regardless of RDT (rapid
diagnostic test) results.
• Treat all other additional conditions such
as dehydration, high fever and anaemia
as required, as described in the respective
chapters in this manual.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES PARASITIC DISEASES Chapter 8 - 113
Follow-up Complicated malaria
• If a patient who has taken the full course If the patient shows one or more of the signs
of ACT returns to the health facility with and symptoms of severe malaria (see above),
fever, suspect medicine failure. REFER immediately. Before referral:
• Do blood examination for malaria parasites • Give oral quinine, if the patient can
where possible. swallow.
• Treat any other suspected cause of his/her • Reduce fever by sponging and by giving
fever or REFER. paracetamol, if patient can swallow.
• If medicine failure is concluded, give oral • Give ﬂuids such as ORS, if patient can
quinine (2nd treatment of choice) as swallow.
shown in the table below. • Where there is possible, administer 5%
• Quinine tablets (each tablet containing glucose.
300 mg, recommended total dose: • Record all your ﬁndings and medicines
10 mg/kg, 8-hourly for 7 days) given in a referral slip and REFER.
Number of tablets
Where immediate referral is not possible and
(300 mg tab)
7 day protocol intravenous (i.v.) administration is possible,
give quinine i.v. as follows:
• Loading dose: Quinine salt 20 mg/kg by
<1 year 5–6 ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ infusion in 500 ml 5% dextrose (if not
1–4 11–14 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ available, physiological saline may be
years used) over 4 hours.
5–7 19–24 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 • Maintenance doses: 12 hours after the
years loading dose, give quinine salt 10 mg/kg
8–10 25–35 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 in dextrose saline over 4 hours.
years ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼
Repeat the same dose of quinine salt (i.e.
11–15 37–50 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
years 10mg/kg) every 8 hours until the patient
½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½
can take oral medication. If referral is still not
Above >50 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
possible, continue treatment with quinine
salt 10 mg/kg i.v. in dextrose over 8-hourly
(if i.v. is not possible, give quinine i.m. in the
same doses). Transfer to oral therapy as soon
as the patient can swallow for a total of 7
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES PARASITIC DISEASES Chapter 8 - 115
Treatment of convulsions and 40–50 ml/kg in children, except in
• Lie the patient on his left side, upper leg severely dehydrated patients.
ﬂexed. • Ensure adequate nutrition (nasogastric
• Keep upper airway clear by removing any feeding if necessary).
secretions or vomit. • If the anaemia is severe enough to require
• Then give intravenous diazepam 5 mg/ml: blood transfusion, REFER.
• Adults: 0.15 mg/kg, maximum 10 mg by • Check the lungs (auscultation) for
slow i.v. injection (over 2–3 minutes); if pulmonary oedema.
injection is not possible, give 0.5–1.0 • Check for respiratory infection, which
mg/kg rectally. requires antibiotic therapy.
• Children: 0.5 mg rectally by means of • Record urine output, to detect anuria (renal
syringe without needle. failure). This will require ﬂuid restriction.
• If still has ﬁts after 10 minutes, repeat
Treatment of hyperpyrexia • Insecticide-treated nets (ITNs).
• Cold sponging, tepid wet towels • Intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) in
• Paracetamol as needed. high transmission areas (recommended
only in southern and central zones): at
Treatment of hypoglycaemia least two courses of doses of 3 tablets of
• Give 40% or 50% glucose, 50 ml SP during second and third trimester of
(0.1 mg/ kg for children) by intravenous pregnancy. Minimum of 4 weeks to be
bolus injection. observed between the two doses. A third
• Follow with an intravenous infusion of dose in case of pregnancy with HIV/AIDS
5%. preferably between 28 to 32 weeks is
• Continue to monitor the patient where recommended.
possible by blood testing. • Effective case management of malarial
REMEMBER! • In known cases of sulfonamide
Hypoglycaemia may recur even after hypersensitivity quinine may be given.
intravenous bolus dose of 50% glucose.
Complementary measures There is no clinical evidence that
• Fluid balance: record inputs and outputs sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine is hazardous to
of ﬂuids. the fetus. The combination does not pose
• Guard against excessive hydration if not either any signiﬁcant risk to breastfeeding
sure of the integrity of the renal function. infants.
Do not exceed 2000–2500 ml/day in adults
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES PARASITIC DISEASES Chapter 8 - 117
• Attend antenatal clinic (for pregnant Signs and symptoms
women). • At the site of penetration there is dermatitis
• Eliminate mosquito breeding sites around with itching papules and local oedema
home. (cercarial dermatitis).
• Avoid mosquito bites, i.e. using mosquito • During maturation of the parasite, the
bed nets, coils. patient may experience abdominal
• Wear long sleeves, long trousers and socks pain, and transient generalized urticaria
if outside between dusk and dawn. (Katayama syndrome). There is also an
• Ensure good compliance with prophylaxis/ eosinophylia.
treatment. • When the disease is established there is
• Contact the health centre if you suspect haematuria.
you have malaria.
• Obstruction to and dilation of the ureter
Schistosomiasis (hydroureter) and hydronephrosis possibly
leading to kidney failure;
Description • Calciﬁcation of the bladder which may lead
Schistosomiasis is a chronic disease caused to pyelonephrosis (infection of kidneys);
by trematodes of the genus Schistosoma, • Cancer of the bladder.
which infect the large bowel (intestinal
schistosomiasis) or the urinary bladder Management
(urinary schistosomiasis). In Somalia, only Praziquantel 600 mg tablets: 40 mg/kg as a
urinary schistosomiasis caused by Schistosoma single dose.
haematobium is found. It is endemic in the
areas between the two rivers, Shabelle and Prevention
Jubba. The disease is transmitted by the • Avoid contact with contaminated water.
penetration of cercariae into the human skin • Health education.
during contact with infected water. The adult
parasite harbours in the urinary bladder. It
produces hundreds of eggs per day many Taeniasis
of which pass out in the urine while the
remainder are deposited around the small
capillaries of the urinary bladder causing Description
tissue damage. Taeniasis is an infection of the small intestine
by Taenia saginata or Taenia solium. Taeniasis
in Somalia is caused by Taenia saginata (beef
tapeworm). People get infected by eating
raw or only lightly cooked beef infected with
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES PARASITIC DISEASES Chapter 8 - 119
Signs and symptoms Signs and symptoms
Most patients remain asymptomatic, • Light infections are usually asymptomatic.
however, some might suffer: • In heavy infections there might be:
• Loss of weight. • Abdominal discomfort
• Abdominal discomfort. • Bloody diarrhoea (without fever)
• Pruritus ani (itching around the anus). • Loss of weight or stinting of growth
• Segments of the parasite may be passed • Anaemia
with stools. • Rectal prolapse.
• Niclosamide (PO): • Mebendazole 100 mg tablets: Adults and
• Adults 2 g (1 g, then 1 g one hour later). children: 100 mg twice daily for 3 days.
• Child: 30 mg/kg as a single dose.
Note: Niclosamide is not included in the • Proper disposal of faeces
primary health care essential medicine list. • Personal hygiene
Such patients should therefore be referred. • Health education
• Health education
• Correct cooking of meat
• Correct disposal of faeces
Trichuriasis is a nematode infection of the
large intestine. Trichuriasis is caused by
Trichuris trichuria (whipworm) and is usually
asymptomatic. The mode of transmission
is by eating contaminated soil or food.
Therefore it is commonest in children.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES PARASITIC DISEASES Chapter 8 - 121
• Bronchitis (acute and chronic)
• Common cold
• Otitis (externa, interna, acute
• Sinusitis, acute
Asthma • Status asthmaticus, REFER, if not possible:
• Let the patient sit in orthopnoeic
position “in a sitting position”;
Description • Reassurance and hydration;
This consists of attacks of reversible • Give adrenaline 1% solution
narrowing of the small airways, causing (epinephrine):
difﬁculty in breathing, with expiratory • Children under 1 year: 0.1 ml i.m.
wheezing. At ﬁrst it is due to spasm, and • Children 1–5 years: 0.2 ml i.m.
then to mucosal swelling. In long and severe • Children 6–15 years: 0.5 ml i.m.
attacks (status asthmaticus) the bronchi • >15 years: 1.0 ml i.m.
are blocked with plugs as well. Asthma is • Repeat same dose after 30 minutes, if
often due to allergy and this type is more deemed necessary. Do not give more
common in young people. The disease can than 3 injections per day.
be provoked by exercise, cold weather, • Then treat as in uncomplicated asthma.
smoking, infection or psychological causes.
Signs and symptoms
• Expiratory wheezing (rhonchi) Description
• Cough Acute inﬂammation of the tracheobronchial
• Expiratory dyspnoea “difﬁculty in tree (the tubes leading to the lungs, through
expiration” which air passes when a person breathes)
• Whistling or hissing sounds (sibilants) generally self-limiting and with eventual
“heard in the lungs through a complete healing and return of function.
stethoscope” Though commonly mild, bronchitis may be
• The temperature is often normal. serious in weak, debilitated patients and in
those with chronic lung or heart disease.
• Uncomplicated asthma Signs and symptoms
• Salbutamol orally (4 mg tablets) as • Often preceded by symptoms of upper
required: respiratory infections (URI)
• Adults: 0.3 mg/kg/day, in three divided • Cough, dry ﬁrst, then productive
doses • Mild fever
• Children 1–9 years: ¼ tablet 8-hourly • Wheezing or musical noise sounds
• Children 10 years or more: 2 tablets 8- (rhonchi) heard in the lungs through a
hourly as required stethoscope
• Maintain treatment for 5 days, and then • No marked dyspnoea “lack of air” .
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS Chapter 9 - 125
Management (asthma) origin, progressing towards chronic
• General respiratory failure.
• Rest until fever subsides
• Abundant ﬂuid intake. Signs and symptoms
• Analgesics • Morning cough, clear sputum, bronchial
• Paracetamol 500 mg tablets: rales (soft crackling sounds heard in the
• Adults and children over 12 years: lungs through a stethoscope)
1–2 tablets 6-hourly; • Exclude tuberculosis.
• Children 8–12 years: 1 tablet 6-hourly;
• Children 3–7 years: ½ tablet 6-hourly; Management
• Children 1–2 years: ¼ tablet 6-hourly; • Discourage cigarette smoking.
• Acetylsalicylic acid 300 mg tablet: • NO ANTIBIOTICS.
• Adults and children over 16 years: 1–3
• Antibiotics: in patients who may have Common cold
superinfections (with purulent sputum, or
persistent high fever) or with poor basic Description
health (malnutrition, measles, anaemia, Common cold is a viral infection of the
cardiac disease, elderly), or dyspnoeic. nasopharyngeal mucosa. Colds are frequent
• cotrimoxazole 480mg and seasonal.
(sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim)
tablets. Signs and symptoms
• Adults and children over 12 years: 2 • Runny nose
tablets 12-hourly for 5 days • Often with mild fever
• Children under 12 years old: 30 mg/kg • Coughing and sneezing.
12-hourly for 5 days.
REMEMBER! • NO antibiotics
Acetylsalicylic acid is contraindicated in • General measures
patients with a history of peptic ulcer. • Rest
• Lots of ﬂuids
Bronchitis, chronic • Keep the patient warm
• For those patients with fever give
Description • Paracetamol (500 mg tablets) as
Chronic inﬂammation of the bronchial required:
mucosa of irritant (tobacco) or allergic • Adults and children over 12 years: 1–2
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS Chapter 9 - 127
• Children 8–12 years: 1 tablet 6-hourly; • There may be a discharge
• Children 3–7 years: ½ tablet 6-hourly; • Eardrum, if examined appears normal.
• Children 1–2 years: ¼ tablet 6-hourly;
• Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin: 300 mg Management
tablets) as required; • Remove foreign body if present in the ear.
• Adults and children over 16 years old: • Advise the patient to keep the ear dry and
1–3 tablets 6-hourly; avoid scratching or poking anything into
• Alternatively ibuprofen can be used. the ear canal.
• If discharge, clean with normal saline.
REMEMBER! • Apply gentian 0.5% violet with cotton bud
Analgesics should not be given for more or similar for 3–5 days.
than 3 days. Prolonged fever may indicate • Analgesic (see common cold).
other more serious conditions which • If discharge unilateral and foul smelling
require further investigation. REFER (danger of cholesteatoma).
Aspirin is contraindicated in:
• Children under 16 years (danger of Reye’s
Otitis media, acute
• Patients with a history of gastrointestinal Description
pain or ulceration. An acute inﬂammation of the middle
• Patients with a history of allergy to aspirin ear. Usually bacterial but can also be of
• Pregnant women viral origin. It is usually a complication of
Asprin must not be taken on an empty upper respiratory infection (URI). It is most
stomach. common in young children, particularly
from age 3 months to 3 years, caused by
secondary tracking of the infection from
Otitis externa the nasopharynx (nose/throat) via the
An acute inﬂammation of the meatus of the Signs and symptoms
external ear. The cause might be due to the • Fever, which may reach above 40°C
presence of a foreign body. • Severe pain and agitation
• Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may occur
Signs and symptoms in young children
• Pain, provoked especially by the traction • Deafness
of the pinna • Otorrhea (pus) may occur due to
• Redness of the outer ear canal perforation of the eardrum.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS Chapter 9 - 129
Management Otitis media, chronic
• General management:
• Clean the ear daily (never probe into the Description
ear) A chronic infection of the middle ear with
• Treat fever and pain with analgesics (see perforation of the eardrum (tympanic
common cold) membrane).
• Phenoxymethylpenicillin (penicillin v;
250 mg tablets): Signs and symptoms
• Adults and children over 12 years: 2 • Otorrhea (chronic discharge) for 2 weeks
tablets 6-hourly for 10 days or more
• Children: • Hearing loss.
• 5–10 kg (or up to 1 year): ¼ tablet 6
hourly for 10 days.
• 10–30 kg (1–5 years): ½ tablet 6- Management
hourly for 10 days. • Wash with normal saline once daily.
• >30 kg (or 6–12 years): 1 tablet 6- • If fever or pain, give analgesics (see
hourly for 10 days. common cold).
• For penicillin allergic patients: • NO antibiotics.
Give erythromycin 250 mg tablets before • If painful swelling behind the ear or no
meals: improvement after 4 weeks’ treatment,
• Adults and children over 8 years: 1–2 REFER.
tablets 6-hourly for 10 days.
• Children 5–10 kg (or up to 1 year): ¼
tablet 6-hourly for 10 days.
• Children: 10–15 kg (or up to 2 years): ½ Tonsillitis
tablet 6-hourly for 10 days.
• Children over 15 kg (2-8 years): 1 tablet
6-hourly for 10 days. Description
Tonsillitis is an infection and inﬂammation of
• No response, REFER especially very young
children. If immediate REFERRAL is not Signs and symptoms
possible start giving amoxycillin 15 mg/kg • Fever
8-hourly and REFER. • Sore throat
• Adenopathy (enlargement of the tonsils)
• White exudates on the throat.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS Chapter 9 - 131
Management these infants is therefore different from that
• Phenoxymethylpenicillin (penicillin v; of older children. If infants under 2 months
250 mg tablets): have pneumonia they should always be
• Adults and children over 12 years: 2 referred after initial treatment. There is no
tablets 6-hourly for 10 days. ordinary pneumonia for infants—it is all
• Children: severe or very severe. In children over 2
• 5–10 kg (or up to 1 year): months and adults mild pneumonia can be
¼ tablet 6-hourly for 10 days. managed without referral.
• 10–30 kg (1–5 years):
½ tablet 6-hourly for 10 days.
Pneumonia in children
• >30 kg (or 6–12 years):
Classify children according to the severity of
1 tablet 6-hourly for 10 days.
the illness into:
• For penicillin allergic patients:
• no pneumonia—fever and cough
Give erythromycin 250 mg tablets before
• mild pneumonia—fever, cough and rapid
• Adults and children over 8 years: 1–2
• severe pneumonia—fever, cough, rapid
tablets 6-hourly for 10 days.
breathing and chest wall recession
• Children 5–10 kg (or up to 1 year): ¼
• very severe pneumonia—severe
tablet 6-hourly for 10 days.
pneumonia with danger signs.
• Children: 10–15 kg (or up to 2 years): ½
tablet 6-hourly for 10 days. To diagnose pneumonia, the key sign to
• Children over 15 kg (2–8 years): 1 tab 6- check is the breathing rate. If it is more than
hourly for 10 days. the following, then a diagnosis of pneumonia
• Analgesia (see common cold). should be made.
• 60 or more breaths per minute if under 2
• In severe cases, especially in cases of • 50 or more breaths per minute if 2 months
quinsy, REFER. to 1 year
• 40 or more breaths per minute if 1 year to
Since infants might have unspeciﬁc signs
Description and symptoms look for the following danger
Pneumonia is a major cause of death, signs. If any one of them is present, the infant
particularly in young children. However has very severe pneumonia.
death can be prevented by correct diagnosis
and management. Young infants die more
quickly than older children. Management of
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS Chapter 9 - 133
Danger signs • Clear nose if it interferes with feeding.
• Failure to feed Increase ﬂuids
• Convulsions • Offer the child extra ﬂuids to drink.
• Abnormally sleepy or difﬁcult to wake • Increase breast-feeding.
• Stridor in calm child • Watch for danger signs and REFER if they
• Grunting occur.
• Apnoea. • Advise mother to return for review in
For older children you need to assess the 2 days, or earlier if the child is getting
severity. The key sign for this is to look for worse.
rib retraction. If present the child should be
referred as above. If there is no rib retraction, REMEMBER!
then the child can be managed at the health Most children with cough of difﬁcult
centre. breathing who do not have any danger sign
or signs of pheumonia have a simple cough
Management of pneumonia in infants or cold. If coughing for more than 30 days,
• In infants with suspected pneumonia,
• Before referral, give a stat dose of benzyl
penicillin. Pneumonia in adults (and older
• Keep the child warm. children)
• Ensure adequate hydration. Pneumonia in adults and older children, if it
• Continue feeding. starts with a sudden onset, is usually caused
by pneumococcus. If it does not respond
Management of pneumonia in older children
to treatment then you must consider
• In older children with rib retraction, REFER
tuberculosis or opportunistic infection due
• For others with no danger signs:
• Give cotrimoxazole 480 mg Signs and symptoms
(sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim) for 5 • High fever (>39°C)
days. • Cough
• Treat fever, if present. • Respiratory distress
• If over 12 months treat wheezing, if • Chest pain
present, with salbutamol (see asthma). • Tachypnoea
• Advise the mother on home care • Examination shows dullness to percussion,
management: diminished breath sounds, crepitations
Feed the child and sometimes bronchial breath sounds.
• Continue to feed the child during
• Increase feeding after illness. Management
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS Chapter 9 - 135
• In severe pneumonia in adults and older • Analgesics (see common cold).
children, start giving benzyl penicillin • Antibiotics:
injection 2 million IU i.m. and REFER. • Phenoxymethylpenicillin (penicillin v;
• In less severe pneumonia in adults and 250 mg tablets):
older children give tablet phenoxymethyl • Adults and children (>12 years): 2 tabs
penicillin 500 mg, 8-hourly. 6-hourly for 10 days.
• For penicillin allergic patients: • Children:
Give erythromycin 250 mg tablets, 2 tablets • 5–10 kg (or up to 1 year): ¼ tablet
6-hourly. 6-hourly for 10 days.
• Paracetamol 500 mg, 1–2 tablets orally 6 • 10–30 kg (1–5 years): ½ tablet 6-
hourly as required, hourly for 10 days.
• >30 kg (or 6–12 years): 1 tablet 6-
If the condition doses not respond to hourly for 10 days.
treatment: • For penicillin allergic patients:
• Consider tuberculosis, REFER. Give cotrimoxazole 480 mg
• Consider opportunistic infection due to (sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim)
HIV, REFER. tablets.
• Adults and children over 12 years
old): 2 tabs12-hourly for 5 days.
Sinusitis, acute • Children under 12 years old: 30 mg/
kg 12-hourly for 5 days.
Alternatively give erythromycin (see
Description Otitis media for dosage).
Sinuses are hollows in the bone that open • Poor response after 5 days, REFER.
into the nose. Sinusitis is an inﬂammation
of these hollows particularly those above or
below the eyes. It is often a complication of REMEMBER!
viral upper respiratory tract infections. Acetylsalicylic acid is contraindicated in
patients with a history of peptic ulcer.
Signs and symptoms
• Pain/tenderness of involved sinus Tuberculosis
• Thick purulent, yellowish mucoid discharge
from nose (catarrh) Description
• Fever. Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious public health,
social and economic problem. TB is caused
Management by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB bacteria
can strike the lungs (pulmonary TB) or
any other parts of the body, such as the
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS Chapter 9 - 137
glands of the neck, abdomen, joints and Remembering to take the medicines for 6
bones (extrapulmonary). However in most to 8 months can be a problem. This is why
patients it affects the lungs. TB is a chronic the DOT strategy was introduced. DOT
(long lasting), contagious (easily spread) means that every dose of treatment taken
disease that anyone can get. TB most often is witnessed to ensure it is swallowed. Care
affects people between 15 and 35 years of providers should sympathetically explain the
age, especially those who are weak, poorly importance of completing the treatment.
nourished, or with lowered resistance or
immunity (e.g. HIV infection). TB is curable, REMEMBER!
yet thousands of people needlessly die from The relationship between the care provider
this disease. Worldwide TB kills close to 2 and the patient is a major determinant
million people each year. The DOTS (directly of whether the patient will complete the
observed therapy, short course) strategy treatment or not.
has been proven to cure more than 85% of
cases in Somalia. The treatment of TB may Treatment of TB should not be started until
be complicated by the presence of HIV a ﬁrm diagnosis has been made. Priority to
infection. In some African countries more treat is given to smear-positive cases, then to
than 50% of TB cases are among HIV positive smear-negative and extrapulmonary cases.
Signs and symptoms Fixed dose combination (FDC)
• Chronic cough (more than 2 to 3 weeks)
which is not responsive to antibiotics Medicine Dose Strength/tablet
• Haemoptysis (coughing blood or blood
stained sputum Isoniazid + Tablet 75 mg + 150 mg
• Loss of weight and appetite rifampicin (HR)
• Low grade fever
• Night sweats, even when the weather is Isoniazid + Tablet 75 mg + 150 mg +
cold rifampicin + 400 mg + 275 mg
• Tiredness pyrazinamide +
• Enlarged cervical lymph nodes (especially (HRZE)
There are four types of treatment regimen (3
TB treatment not only saves lives, but
also prevents the spread of infection and
development of drug-resistant TB. Successful
TB treatment requires 6–8 months of a
combination of medicines taken daily.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS Chapter 9 - 139
Category 1 (Short course regime) Category 2 (Retreatment regime)
New smear-positive patients; new smear- Previously treated sputum smear-positive
negative pulmonary TB with extensive PTB:
parenchymal involvement; severe • relapse
concomitant HIV disease or severe forms of • treatment after interruption
extrapulmonary TB. • treatment failure.
TB treatment regimen for category 2
TB treatment regimen for category 1
Weight of Initial phase Daily Continuation
Weight of Initial phase Continuation patient for phase
patient Daily for 2 phase
months Daily for 4 (Pre- 3 2 Daily for 5
(Pre- months treatment months months months
treatment weight) HRZE S HR E
weight) HRZE HR
1 g vial 400
30–39 kg 2 2 30–39 kg 2 0.5 2 1.5
40–54 kg 3 3 40–54 kg 3 0.75 3 2
55–70 kg 4 4 55–70 kg 4 1 4 3
>70 kg 5 5 >70 kg 5 1 5 3
Category 3 (Standard regime)
New smear-negative PTB (other than
in Category 1) and less severe forms of
extrapulmonary TB. Treatment is the same as
Category 4 (Individualized regime)
Chronic and multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB
cases (still sputum-positive after supervised
re-treatment). This group needs specially
designed treatment and care and should be
referred to a specialized TB centre.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS Chapter 9 - 141
REMEMBER! Action in case of interruption of treatment
TB medicines may have side effects.
Dangerous ones include skin rashes and Interruption for less than one month:
• Trace patient
itching, skin and/or eyes turn yellow, • Solve the cause of interruption
repeated vomiting, deafness, dizziness and • Continue treatment and prolong it to compensate for missed
eyesight problems. If you suspect any one
of these symptoms, STOP treatment and Interruption for one to two months
send the patient to a doctor. Action 1 Action 2
• Trace patient If smears Continue treatment and
• Solve the cause negative prolong it to compensate
How to monitor TB patient by sputum of interruption or extra- for missed doses
• Do 3 sputum pulmonary
Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 continue treatment If one Treatment Continue
or more received: treatment
(6 month (8 month (6 month
smears <5 months and prolong
regimen) regimen) regimen) positive it to
2nd month 3rd month End 2nd month for missed
5th month 5th month
>5 months Category 1:
6th month 8th month Start
Interruption for two months or more (defaulter)
• Do 3 sputum Negative Clinical decision on
smears smears individual basis whether
• Solve the cause or extra- to re-treat or continue
of interruption, if pulmonary treatment, or no further
• No treatment
while waiting for One or Category 1 Start
results more Category 1
positive Category 2 Refer for
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS Chapter 9 - 143
Treatment regimens in special Prevention
groups • Any patient suspected to have
Pregnant women: It is important to tuberculosis, should be referred to the
ask a woman before she starts anti-TB nearest tuberculosis centre.
chemotherapy if she is pregnant. Most anti- • BCG under EPI should be given to every
TB medicines are safe for use in pregnant newborn baby.
women. The exception is streptomycin, • Improve housing and nutritional status.
which is ototoxic to the fetus, should not • Trace contacts (including at school or work
be used in pregnancy and can be replaced if appropriate).
by ethambutol. It is important to explain to
pregnant women that successful treatment
of TB with the recommended standardized
TB spreads to other people when someone
regimen is important for a successful
with TB coughs or sneezes.
outcome of pregnancy.
Breastfeeding women: Breastfeeding women
with TB should receive a full course of anti-
TB chemotherapy. Chemotherapy prevents
the transmission of tubercle bacilli to the
baby. All TB medicines are compatible with
It is very important to check all household
members of TB patients to see if they have
active TB or not. If they have active TB, they
must be treated. Children under 6 years who
do not have active TB may need preventive
chemotherapy (isoniazid INH for 6 months).
Please consult the TB centre.
TB is one of the most common opportunistic
infections among people living with HIV/
AIDS. All TB patients need to be provided
with HIV counselling and testing as
appropriate. Please consult the concerned
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS Chapter 9 - 145
of sexually transmitted
• Genital ulcer in men and women
• Lower abdominal pain in women
• Urethral discharge in men
• Vaginal discharge
A fundamental problem in the management past episodes of similar lesions. Otherwise
of most sexually transmitted infections is the you should assume that the ulcer might be
difﬁculty in making an accurate diagnosis. chancroid or syphilis, and treat for both. The
Thus, in areas with limited laboratory ulcer in chancroid is painful and in syphilis it
resources sexually transmitted infections is painless.
are identiﬁed and treated together in the
form of signs and symptoms (syndromes). In Signs and symptoms
health facilities where laboratory diagnosis is • One or more ulcerative lesions in the
possible, treat as shown in the table provided genitalia
at the end of this chapter. • Genital ulcers may be painful or painless
• Ulcers are frequently accompanied by
All patients with sexually transmitted inguinal lymphadenopathy
infections should be counselled on:
• compliance with treatment; Management
• prevention of the complications of sexually • Counsel on compliance and risk
transmitted infections; reduction.
• risk reduction for acquiring sexually • Provide and promote the use of condoms.
transmitted infections; • Notify partner and treat both with:
• promotion and provision of condoms and • Benzathine benzylpenicillin i.m. 2.4
demonstration of their use; million IU immediately (half into
• tracing and management of sexual each buttock). Alternative regimens
contacts. for penicillin-allergic non-pregnant
patients: doxycycline, 100 mg orally,
Genital ulcer in men and twice daily for 14 days or tetracycline,
500 mg orally, 4 times daily for 14 days.
women Alternative regimens for penicillin-
allergic/pregnant: erythromycin, 500 mg
Description orally, 4 times daily for 14 days.
Loss of continuity of skin producing one or +
more ulcerative lesions on the genitalia. The • Ciproﬂoxacin, 500 mg orally, twice
three commonest causes in Africa are: daily for 3 days (or erythromycin base,
• Chancroid (Haemophilus ducreyi); 500 mg orally, 4 times daily for 7 days; or
• Syphylis (Treponema pallidum); azithromycin, 1 g orally, as a single dose).
• Genital herpes (herpes simplex 2 virus). Alternative regimen: ceftriaxone, 250mg
Classical herpes lesions can be recognized by by intramuscular injection, as a single
their appearance, a painful cluster of vesicles dose.
that then develop into small punched out Note: ciproﬂoxacin is contraindicated in
ulcers. The patient often gives a history of pregnancy and is not recommended for
use in children and adolescents.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS Chapter 10 - 149
+ • Pain during sexual intercourse
• Acyclovir, 200 mg orally, 5 times daily for (dyspareunia)
7 days (or acyclovir, 400 mg orally, 3 times • Vaginal discharge
daily for 7 days or valaciclovir, 1 g orally, • Menometrorrhagia
twice daily for 7 days or famciclovir, • Dysuria
250 mg orally, 3 times daily for 7 days). • Fever
• Ask to return after 1 week. • Sometimes nausea and vomiting
• Pelvic tenderness is often prominent on
Referral bimanual examination of the cervix.
• No response after 7 days.
Untreated PID may have long-term
Lower abdominal pain in sequelae (infertility atc.) It should be
women considered as a possible diagnosis in all
sexually active women complaining of
lower abdominal pain.
Lower abdominal pain or pelvic inﬂammatory
disease (PID) is a general name for pelvic Management
infections in women (e.g. salpingitis, • If an intrauterine device is in place, it
endometritis, parametritis, oophoritis, pelvic should be removed.
peritonitis) caused by microorganisms, • Counsel on compliance and risk
which generally ascend from the lower reduction.
genital tract and invade the endometrium, • Provide and promote the use of condoms.
the fallopian tubes, the ovaries and the • Notify partner and treat both with:
peritoneum. The most common cause for • Ciproﬂoxacin, 500 mg orally, as a
PID is infection of the tubes or uterus with single dose (or ceftriaxone, 125 mg by
the following organisms: intramuscular injection, as a single dose
• Neisseria gonorrhoeae or ceﬁxime,400 mg orally,as a single dose
• Chlamydia trachomatis or spectinomycin, 2 g by intramuscular
• Anaerobic organisms. injection, as a single dose.
Trauma to the endocervical canal from an Note:
intrauterine device may facilitate the ascent • Ciproﬂoxacin is contraindicated in
of these organisms into the endometrial pregnancy and is not recommended for
cavity. use in children and adolescents.
• There are variations in the anti-
Signs and symptoms gonococcal activity of individual
• Abdominal pain quinolones, and it is important to use
only the most active.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS Chapter 10 - 151
+ Sometimes if the patient has given
• Doxycycline 100 mg orally twice daily, himself some treatment or has recently
or tetracycline, 500 mg orally, 4 times urinated, there may be no discharge to be
daily for 14 days (In pregnant women, seen. However the history of dysuria or
give instead erythromycin 500 mg twice uncomfortable urination may indicate it
daily for 14 days). has been present. The commonest causes of
+ urethral discharge are:
• Metronidazole 400–500 mg orally, twice • Neisseria gonorrhoeae
daily for 14 days. • Chlamydia trachomatis.
Note: Patients taking metronidazole
should be cautioned to avoid alcohol. Signs and symptoms
• Small or large amounts of mucus or pus at
REMEMBER! the end of the penis
Ask the patient to come back after 72 hours • Staining of the underwear
and REFER IMMEDIATELY if the condition • Burning/pain on passing urine.
has not improved.
Since the diagnosis of PID is difﬁcult and • Counsel on compliance and risk
untreated PID can have long-term sequelae reduction.
to the patient, hospitalization of patients • Provide and promote the use of condoms.
with suspected PID should be seriously • Notify partner and treat patient and
considered when: partner with:
• the diagnosis is uncertain; • Ciproﬂoxacin, 500 mg orally, as a
• surgical emergencies such as appendicitis single dose (or ceftriaxone, 125 mg by
and ectopic pregnancy cannot be intramuscular injection, as a single dose
excluded; or ceﬁxime,400 mg orally,as a single dose
• a pelvic abscess is suspected; or spectinomycin, 2 g by intramuscular
• severe illness precludes management on injection, as a single dose).
an outpatient regimen; or Note:
• the patient has failed to respond to • Ciproﬂoxacin is contraindicated in
outpatient therapy. pregnancy and is not recommended for
use in children and adolescents.
• There are variations in the anti-
Urethral discharge in men gonococcal activity of individual
quinolones, and it is important to use
Description only the most active.
Presence of a discharge in the anterior
urethra, sometimes accompanied by dysuria
or discomfort, is a urethral discharge.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS Chapter 10 - 153
+ amount of vaginal secretion attributable
• Doxycycline 100 mg orally twice daily to vaginal or cervical infection. Vaginal
for 7 days (or azithromycin, 1 g orally, in discharge may be accompanied by
a single dose). pruritus, genital swelling, dysuria, and lower
Alternative regimen: abdominal or back pain. The discharge may
• Amoxicillin, 500 mg orally, 3 times a day be caused by trichomonas or candidiasis, but
for 7 days or erythromycin, 500 mg orally, it is impossible to rule out gonorrhoea and
4 times a day for 7 days or tetracycline, chlamydia. The discharge may be purulent
500 mg orally, 4 times a day for 7 days. or offensive. Occasionally it can be caused
Note: by a forgotten tampon.
• Doxycycline and other tetracyclines are
contraindicated duting pregnancy and
lactation. Signs and symptoms
• Current evidence indicates that 1 g • Excessive vaginal secretion often purulent
single-dose therapy of azithromycin is or offensive
efﬁcacious for chlamydial infection. • Staining of underwear
• There is evidence that extending the • Itching or redness of the vulva
duration of treatment beyond 7 days • Burning or pain on passing urine
does not improve the cure rate in • Lower abdominal pain.
uncomplicated chlamydial infection.
• Erythromycin should not be taken on an Management
empty stomach. If the patient’s sexual partner(s) has
• Ask to return in 1 week. symptoms then it is very likely that the patient
is infected with gonorrhoea or chlamydia.
Otherwise to avoid treating all women with
discharge for all four problems (gonorrhoea,
Patients should be advised to return if
Chlamydia, Candida and Trichomonas) it is
symptoms persist 1 week after starting
necessary to carry out some risk assessment.
If the woman fulﬁls any two of the following
criteria she is considered to be a high risk
and should be treated for all:
• Under 21 years old
Vaginal discharge • Unmarried
• Has more than one sexual partner; or
• Has had a new sexual partner in the last
Sexually transmitted disease (STD)-related
vaginal discharge is deﬁned as a change
• Counsel on compliance and risk
in colour, odour and/or an increase in the
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS Chapter 10 - 155
• Provide and promote the use of condoms. +
• Notify partner and treat them both with: • Metronidazole 2 g as a single dose OR
• Ciproﬂoxacin, 500 mg orally, as a 400 mg 12 hourly for 7 days.
single dose (or ceftriaxone, 125 mg by If candidiasis is suspected add:
intramuscular injection, as a single dose • Nystatin pessaries, 100 000 IU, two
or ceﬁxime,400 mg orally,as a single dose inserted nightly for 2 weeks.
or spectinomycin, 2 g by intramuscular • If still no improvement, REFER.
injection, as a single dose).
• Ciproﬂoxacin is contraindicated in
pregnancy and is not recommended for
use in children and adolescents.
• There are variations in the anti-
gonococcal activity of individual
quinolones, and it is important to use
only the most active.
• Doxycycline 100 mg orally twice daily
for 7 days; (or azithromycin, 1 g orally, in
a single dose)
• Amoxicillin, 500 mg orally, 3 times a day
for 7 days or erythromycin, 500 mg orally,
4 times a day for 7 days or tetracycline,
500 mg orally, 4 times a day for 7 days.
• Doxycycline and other tetracyclines are
contraindicated duting pregnancy and
• Current evidence indicates that 1 g
single-dose therapy of azithromycin is
efﬁcacious for chlamydial infection.
• There is evidence that extending the
duration of treatment beyond 7 days
does not improve the cure rate in
uncomplicated chlamydial infection.
• Erythromycin should not be taken on an
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS Chapter 10 - 157
Summary treatment guideline for areas
with possibilities of laboratory diagnosis
Sexually Signs and Diagnosis Treatment
Chlamydial infection • Small painless Microscopic Doxycycline, 100 mg twice
(Lymphogranuloma papules on the diagnosis daily for 14 days
venereum) penis or vulva Pregnancy/children <8
• Papules are years
followed by Erythromycin 500 mg four
buboes in the groin times daily for 14 days
which ultimately Fluctuant lymph nodes
breakdown forming should be aspirated
many ﬁstulae through healthy skin
tetracycline, 500 mg orally, 4
times daily for 14 days
Genital herpes • Multiple, painful, Medical history Keep lesions clean
shallow ulcers, Clinical Apply affected areas with
which clear in two presentation gentian violet
weeks Identiﬁcation Avoid sexual contact while
• Ulcers may be of the virus lesions are present
accompanied by through Acyclovir, 200 mg orally, 5
watery vaginal culture times daily for 7 days (or
discharge acyclovir, 400 mg orally,
3 times daily for 7 days
or valaciclovir, 1 g orally,
twice daily for 7 days or
famciclovir, 250 mg orally, 3
times daily for 7 days)
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS Chapter 10 - 159
Summary treatment guideline for areas
with possibilities of laboratory diagnosis
Sexually Signs and Diagnosis Treatment
Gonorrhoea Women: Bacteriological Ciproﬂoxacin, 500 mg
• Purulent vaginal examination orally, as a single dose (or
discharge ceftriaxone, 125 mg by
• Pain on passing intramuscular injection, as a
urine single dose or ceﬁxime,
Men: 400 mg orally, as a single
• Pain on passing dose or spectinomycin, 2 g
urine by intramuscular injection,
• Purulent urethral as a single dose.
discharge Note: ciproﬂoxacin
• May present with is contraindicated in
painful swollen pregnancy and is not
scrotum recommended for use in
children and adolescents.
There are variations in the
anti-gonococcal activity of
individual quinolones, and
it is important to use only
the most active.
Infants with conﬁrmed
should receive instillation of
tetracycline eye ointment
1% into the eyes and then
for infants born to mothers
with gonococcal infection:
ceftriaxone 50 mg/kg by
intramuscular injection, as a
single dose, to a maximum
of 125 mg.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS Chapter 10 - 161
Summary treatment guideline for areas
with possibilities of laboratory diagnosis
Sexually Signs and Diagnosis Treatment
Trichomoniasis Women: Frothy Microscopic Metronidazole 2 g, one
(bubbly), foul, examination single oral dose or 500 mg
smelling, greenish 12-hourly for 7 days
vaginal discharge In pregnant women (1st
Men may also have trimester)
urethral discharge symptomatic treatment
with clotrimazole can be
Candidiasis (yeast • Curd-like whitish Clinical Miconazole, 500 mg
infection) vaginal discharge diagnosis by intravaginally, as a single
• Vaginal and/or symptoms dose or clotrimazole,
vulval itching Microscopic 500 mg intravaginally, as a
examination of single dose or ﬂuconazole,
vaginal smears 150 mg orally, as a single
Nystatin pessaries 100 000
IU, two inserted nightly for
Treat partner similarly for
Chancroid • Painful ulcers on the Clinical Ciproﬂoxacin, 500 mg orally,
external genitalia diagnosis by twice daily for 3 days (or
• Enlarged inguinal symptoms and erythromycin base,
lymph nodes signs 500 mg orally, 4 times daily
Microscopic for 7 days; or azithromycin,
examination 1 g orally, as a single dose).
ceftriaxone, 250 mg by
intramuscular injection, as a
Fluctuant lymph nodes
may need to be aspirated
through intact skin
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS Chapter 10 - 163
Summary treatment guideline for areas
with possibilities of laboratory diagnosis
Sexually Signs and Diagnosis Treatment
Syphilis Early syphilis: Microscopic Early stage: Benzathine
Painless ulcers on the diagnosis of benzyl penicillin 2.4
external genitalia of the spirochette million IU in a single dose,
women or men Serological injected i.m. one half into
diagnosis each buttock. Alternatively
Several months later: (becomes procaine benzylpenicillin,
non-itchy body rash. positive two 1.2 million IU i.m. daily for
weeks after the 2 weeks
Late syphilis: appearance Late stage: Benzathine
May be of the primary benzylpenicillin 2.4
asymptomatic. After infection) million IU i.m. once
many years, there weekly for 3 consecutive
may be deﬁciency in weeks, or i.m. procaine
muscle coordination; benzylpenicillin, 1.2 million
paralysis; numbness; IU daily for 2 weeks
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS Chapter 10 - 165
• Herpes zoster
• Skin ulcer
An abscess is an infection that forms a sac A boil is a bacterial infection and usually
of pus under the skin. Sometimes it results starts in places where hair grows. When the
from a puncture wound, or an injection infection localizes, pus accumulates and an
given with a dirty needle. An abscess cavity abscess develops.
is not accessible to antibiotics. Treatment is
thus surgical only. Signs and symptoms
• Pain, redness and swelling
Signs and symptoms • Pustule in the site of a hair follicle.
• A ﬁrm, hot and painful swelling, which has
developed in a few days and has a soft Management
centre which ﬂuctuates (feels ﬂuid). • Put hot packs (compresses) over the boil
several times a day.
Management • Let the boil break and drain itself. NEVER
• Disinfect the skin surface with SQUEEZE the boil since this may cause the
chlorhexidine. infection to spread to other parts of the
• Make a cut in the top of the abscess using body.
a sterile scalpel. • If the infection spreads to cause swollen
• Open the abscess further with a forceps. nodes and fever give antibiotics (see under
• Do not use the scalpel for opening further, Scabies).
since a nerve or artery may be cut. • For the treatment of pain:
• Drain the abscess of pus and put the tip • Paracetamol (500 mg tablets):
of a sterile gauze swab into the abscess • Adults and children over 12 years: 1–2
cavity. tablets 6 hourly.
• Apply cold compress for a few minutes • Children 8–12 years: 1 tablet 6 hourly.
then cover the wound with a dressing. • Children: 3–7 years: ½ tablet 6 hourly.
• Remove the gauze after 1 day. • Children: 1–2 years ¼ tablet 6 hourly.
• Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA, aspirin: 300 mg
All other abscesses in deeper parts of the • Adults: 1–3 tablets 4–6 hourly.
body, such as in breasts, muscle, root of • Children (older than 12 years): 1 tablet
tooth or neck should be REFERRED 4–6 hourly.
• Alternatively ibuprofen can be used.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES SKIN CONDITIONS Chapter 11 - 169
• The main principle of treatment is to avoid
the skin drying out.
Description • Cold compresses will help acute irritant
Eczema (dermatitis) is an acute or chronic rashes.
inﬂammation of the skin. It can be caused by • Patients should be advised to apply
contact between human skin with certain vegetable oils or petroleum jelly to dry
chemicals, such as nickel, cement and rubber. irritant rashes (not machine or engine
This is called contact dermatitis and is due to oils).
speciﬁc sensitization of the skin. Long-term • Avoid the use of soap on the skin.
contact with other substances having an • Avoid wearing abrasive clothing (woollens
irritant effect can also cause eczema (irritant etc.)
dermatitis). The other forms of eczema most • Paint the sores with gentian violet.
commonly encountered can be divided • In chronic cases: Use benzoic acid 6% +
into: salicylic acid 3% ointment twice daily.
• Avoid scratching and cut ﬁngernails
regularly, especially those of small
This type is most common in children. In
babies it is localized on the face, but in
• In case of itching give chlorpheniramine
older children on elbows, wrists and knees.
4 mg tablets:
Children with atopic eczema may also have
• Adults and children over 12 years:
1 tablet 6-hourly as required.
Seborrhoeic eczema • Children 5–12 years: ½ tablet repeated if
This is an acute or subacute dermatitis necessary 6-hourly.
common in adults. It is common in areas • Children 1–5 years: ¼ tablet repeated if
of the body with much sebaceous activity, necessary 6-hourly.
such as the scalp, behind the ears, the face • If there is a superinfection treat with
- particularly around the nose, the eyebrows antibiotics (see under Scabies).
and mouth, the front of the breast bone
(sternum), and between the shoulder blades If the condition does not improve, REFER.
Eczema frequently has a chronic course. Herpes zoster (shingles)
Most children grow out of it after some years.
In chronic eczema the skin is dry, thickened
and hyperpigmented. Description
A line or patch of very painful blisters
that appear all of a sudden on one side
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES SKIN CONDITIONS Chapter 11 - 171
(unilateral) of the body conﬁned to an area Management
served by a nerve. It is most common on the • Clean the crusts away with soap and water
back, chest, neck, or face. The blisters last 2 to or an antiseptic solution.
3 weeks then heal spontaneously although • Dry the skin.
scars may remain. The disease usually affects • Apply gentian violet solution 0.5%.
people who have had chickenpox before. • Advise the patient to wash their hands
The virus remains in the central nervous frequently and not to touch the lesions.
system. Herpes zoster is not a dangerous • If no response or the patient is severely ill,
disease, but could be a sign of other serious has fever or has swollen glands, give oral
conditions such as AIDS and cancer. Young antibiotics (see under Scabies)
people with severe herpes zoster are usually • If there is no improvement, REFER.
• Clean the lesions with antiseptic.
• Give analgesics: see section on Boils. Description
• If there is bacterial superinfection give Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin,
antibiotics: see section on Scabies. commonly found in children. Although
• If analgesics do not control the pain or if ringworm sores heal spontaneously as a
the eye is affected, REFER. child grows older, this may take a long time.
The best way to prevent ringworm is careful
and regular personal hygiene (soap and
Description Signs and symptoms
Impetigo is a superﬁcial but highly • Pale, round and scaly patches found on
contagious infection of the skin, usually the scalp
caused by streptococci or Staphylococci • On the body the patches are round with
aureus, and most often seen in infants or thickened edges and scales in the centre
schoolchildren. Hot weather, malnutrition of the patch.
and poor hygiene contribute to it.
Symptoms and signs • Wash the skin thoroughly with soap and
• It affects mainly exposed parts of the body water.
(face, nose, arms, legs, etc.) • Then apply Whiteﬁeld’s (benzoic acid 6% +
• Typical golden-yellow crusts. salicylic acid 3%) ointment to the sores.
• Wash clothes daily in hot water during the
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES SKIN CONDITIONS Chapter 11 - 173
• For better access to the sores, shave the Management
hair on the scalp. • Wash the whole body with a mild soap
• Inform the parent that ringworms heal and dry.
slowly. • Apply benzyl benzoate emulsion to whole
• In severe cases, REFER. body (from the neck downwards, not the
face or scalp):
• Children and adults: 25 % emulsion.
Scabies • Infants less than 6 months: 12.5% emulsion
(take 10 ml of the 25% solution and add
10 ml of water).
Description • Allow to dry, then put on clothes.
Scabies is a parasitic skin disease caused by • Wash off the next morning with soap and
a mite, Sarcoptes scabies. The female mite water.
enters the skin and makes a small tunnel • Repeat the process for 3 days.
or burrow. The disease is characterized by • Wash all clothes and bedding in boiling
severe itching with typical distribution. water and dry in the sun.
The disease is spread by direct close body • Give antibiotics to those with severe
contact. secondary infection:
• Phenoxymethylpenicillin (penicillin v;
Signs and symptoms 250 mg tablets):
• Skin lesions itch severely, especially at • Adults: 2 tablets 6-hourly for 10 days.
night. • Children:
• Secondary infection is very common due • 5–10 kg: ¼ tablet 6-hourly for 10
to scratching. days.
• The whole family is often affected. • 10–30 kg: ½ tablet 6-hourly for 10
• Typical distribution: Anterior axillary days.
fold, nipples, lower abdomen in women, • >30 kg: 1 tablet 6-hourly for 10 days.
belt line (umbilicus), wrists and elbows,
between the ﬁngers, external genitalia,
thighs and buttocks. Prevention
• Regular bathing with soap
• Washing of clothes
SEVERE ITCHING • Health education
+ • Always treat the whole family.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES SKIN CONDITIONS Chapter 11 - 175
Skin ulcer • If local treatment fails give:
• Phenoxymethylpenicillin (penicillin v;
250 mg tablets):
Description • Adults: 2 tablets 6-hourly for 10 days
A skin ulcer is a chronic break in the skin that • Children:
may be long lasting because of difﬁculties in • 5–10 kg give 62.5 mg 6-hourly for
healing. Skin ulcers are rare in small children, 10 days
but more common in older children and • 10–30 kg give 125 mg 6-hourly for
adults. Ulcers appear more frequently on 10 days
the lower limbs. Sometimes there may be • >30 kg give 250 mg 6-hourly for 10
an underlying cause such as tuberculosis, days.
leprosy, diabetes or varicose veins. In these • For penicillin allergic patients:
cases often poor blood circulation delays Give erythromycin tablets before meals:
healing. If a varicose ulcer is near a vein it • Children 5–10 kg:
can subsequently erode the vein causing 62.5 mg 6-hourly for 10 days
profuse bleeding. • Children: 10–15 kg:
125 mg 6-hourly for 10 days
Signs and symptoms • Adults and children over 15 kg:
• An ulcer maybe painful or painless. 250 mg 6-hourly for 10 days.
• The healing skin around an ulcer of the leg • For pain give analgesia – see section on
is often dark blue, shiny and very thin. Boils.
• With varicose ulcers, the foot is often • If you suspect an underlying disease,
swollen. REFER the patient
• Ulcers can be of any size.
• Sometimes an ulcer can be infected and
• Correct hygiene.
• Treat ulcers at an early stage.
• Clean the ulcer with antiseptic.
• Keep the foot up, as high and as often as
• If the ulcer is discharging pus, apply
dressings with normal saline. These
dressings need to be changed 2-3 times
• On the leg a ﬁrm elastic bandage from
the toes to above the ulcer can reduce
swelling and help healing.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES SKIN CONDITIONS Chapter 11 - 177
• Viral hepatitis
HIV/AIDS is a notiﬁable disease • Accidentally, although rarely, in persons
working with biological samples infected
with the HIV virus.
HIV cannot be transmitted through shaking
Description hands, hugging, kissing, sharing cups, eating
AIDS–Acquired immune deﬁciency
and cooking utensils or through the air. The
syndrome–is a disease caused by the human
virus is also not transmitted by insect bites
immunodeﬁciency virus (HIV), which kills
such as mosquitoes, lice, bedbugs.
or impairs cells of the immune system and
progressively destroys the body’s ability to
ﬁght infections and certain cancers.Today 40 Phases of HIV infection
million people around the world are infected Three phases may be identiﬁed during the
with HIV. Although the prevalence of HIV course of HIV infection.
infection in Somalia is low (about 0.9%), it
is estimated that 40 000–60 000 Somalis Seroconversion
are living with HIV/AIDS. Presently there This phase occurs 2 weeks to 3 weeks
is no cure against HIV virus. Clinical care of following contamination. During this period
patients with HIV/AIDS includes diagnosis, the virus replicates rapidly in the body. The
counselling, prevention and treatment of acute seroconversion illness usually presents
opportunistic infections, and where possible as ﬂu-like (fever, body aches, sore throat and
the use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) . enlarged glands).
Modes of transmission Asymptomatic phase
The HIV virus is transmitted from person to During this period, which can last for many
person through: years the person can remain asymptomatic,
• Exchange of HIV-infected body ﬂuids such but can still transmit HIV to sexual partners.
as semen, vaginal ﬂuid and blood during The person might not even know that he/
unprotected sexual contact with a person she has HIV infection.
infected with the virus;
• Transfusion of blood infected with HIV Symptomatic HIV infection, including AIDS
virus; In this phase the patient’s immune system
• Use of HIV-contaminated injection starts to decrease and the person begins
needles, and sharp infected instruments to show signs and symptoms related to HIV
for tonsillectomy, circumcision etc. infection including malaise, fevers, night
• From an infected mother to her child sweats, and diarrhoea. The patient might
either during pregnancy, at birth or during experience skin and mucous problems and
breastfeeding; recurrent bacterial infections. The latest
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES VIRAL INFECTIONS Chapter 12 - 181
stage of the disease is characterized by • Repeated infections
the development of severe opportunistic • Herpes zoster
infections deﬁning AIDS and low CD4 cell • Skin conditions including prurigo,
• Lymphadenopathy (PGL)—painless
Diagnosis of HIV at the PHC level swelling in neck and armpit
(no laboratory diagnosis)
The diagnosis of HIV infection requires • Kaposi lesions (painless dark or purple
two positive HIV tests. If HIV testing is not lumps on skin or palate)
available, it is still important to know when • Severe bacterial infection—pneumonia
to consider HIV-related illness and refer the or muscle infection
suspected patients for HIV testing. The table • Tuberculosis—pulmonary or
opposite includes clinical signs of possible extrapulmonary
HIV infection: • Oral thrush or oral hairy leukoplakia
• If HIV status is unknown, advise to be • Gum/mouth ulcers
tested for HIV infection • Oesophageal thrush
• If patient has signs in bold in the blue box, • Weight loss more than 10% without
these signs indicate HIV clinical stage 3 other explanation
or 4. Patient is likely eligible for ART. HIV • More than 1 month:
testing is urgent • Diarrhoea (unexplained)
• Vaginal candidiasis
• Unexplained fever
• Herpes simplex ulceration (genital or
Other indications suggesting possible
• Other sexually transmitted infections
• A spouse or partner or child
• known to be HIV positive
• has HIV or HIV-related illness
• Unexplained death of young partner
• Injecting drug use
• High risk occupation
• Sexually active person with multiple
partners living in high HIV-burden area
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES VIRAL INFECTIONS Chapter 12 - 183
Counselling • Explain how a person with HIV can
If you suspect someone to have HIV/AIDS protect himself/herself from becoming
REFER immediately and explain to the client sick by maintaining a “healthy lifestyle”,
where to go for HIV counselling and testing. by eating healthy food, avoiding or
decreasing tobacco, taking regular
Before referral exercise etc.
• Explain how HIV is transmitted • Advise to seek prompt treatment for any
(unprotected sex, blood transfusions, infections (cough, fever, skin infections
infected syringes and razor blades, mother or diarrhoea).
to child transmission etc). • For sero-positive mothers, discuss issues
• Explain how HIV is NOT transmitted. regarding:
• Explain HIV testing, that it is voluntary and • the risks of getting pregnant and its
the patient has the right to refuse. implications for the child and the health
• Reassure that test results are kept of the mother with HIV;
conﬁdential. • the beneﬁt of exclusive breastfeeding
• Counsel on safer sex including correct and versus the risk;
consistent use of condoms. • routine vaccination of children with
• Discuss the advantages of knowing HIV HIV;
status. • Encourage regular follow-up if positive.
• Arrange to see the client after the test.
REMEMBER! Patients and familly members should
HIV/AIDS is a sensitive issue. People receive education on HIV infection and be
should be counselled privately and advised how to handle blood and other
compassionately. body ﬂuids from the patient.
Post-test counselling Management of HIV-related
• If HIV-negative, advise on safer sex infection
practices, abstinence etc.
• If HIV-positive: Chronic diarrhoea
• Provide post-test information and Chronic diarrhoea is deﬁned as 3 or more
support. loose motions a day, intermittent or
• Advise on advantages of knowing HIV continuous, lasting more than 2 weeks.
status (prevention of re-infection, early
access to treatment, choices about In the majority of cases, no cause may
future pregnancies, etc). be found and treatment is thus largely
• Explore the personal and community symptomatic. For the treatment of diarrhoea
support systems. refer to the relevant chapter in this manual.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES VIRAL INFECTIONS Chapter 12 - 185
In patients who do not respond to treatment • Persistent generalized
REFER. lymphoadenopathy, REFER.
Prevention of diarrhoea consists of attention Respiratory infections
to personal hygiene (hand-washing), Present as cough (acute, persistent or
drinking boiled water, and eating ONLY worsening) and/or dyspnoea, which may be
thoroughly cooked meat and vegetables. accompanied by chest pain.
Persistent fever Pneumonia and pulmonary tuberculosis
A recurrent or persistent fever is deﬁned are the most common causes of lower
as elevation of temperature (>37.5°C) for respiratory tract infections. Consider TB if
duration of 2 or more weeks. there is cough for more than 2 weeks, weight
• Give analgesics in full dose, i.e. paracetamol loss, haemoptysis, sweats etc
1g every 6 hours.
• If no response, treat as malaria according Cough without dyspnoea or tachypnoea
to national recommendations. and associated with runny nose is usually
• If no response give, give cotrimoxazole indicative of upper respiratory tract infection
480 mg (sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim) of viral origin.
2 tablets twice daily for 5 days.
• If no response or if the patient has altered Adults
mental state, stiff neck or deep rapid • Give cotrimoxazole 480 mg
breathing, REFER immediately. (sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim) 2
tablets twice daily for 5 days.
Lymphadenopathy • If no response, or receiving cotrimoxazole
• If it is due to local or regional infection, prophylaxis, give amoxycillin 500 mg
treat as indicated. tablets three times daily for 5 days.
• If non-itchy skin rash/evidence of resistant • If no response, REFER.
genital ulcer consider syphilis: give • If there is severe dyspnoea or respiratory
benzathine penicillin 2.4 million IU weekly distress or there is a suspicion of TB,
× 3 doses. REFER.
• If allergic to penicillin give doxycycline
100 mg tablets twice daily for 2 weeks; Children
• For pregnant women give erythromycin • Give cotrimoxazole (sulfamethoxazole +
500 mg tablets four times daily for 2 trimethoprim) 24 mg/kg 12-hourly for 5
• If the patient has also fever, weight loss, • If no improvement after 48 hours of
unilateral ﬂuctuant nodes in increasing treatment for severe pneumonia, treat as
size, consider tuberculosis, lymphoma or pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), REFER.
Kaposi’s sarcoma, REFER.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES VIRAL INFECTIONS Chapter 12 - 187
• If there is an upper respiratory tract concomitant malaria, meningitis, other
infection (URTI) without fever, advise infections, hypoxia, metabolic causes or even
mother on HOME CARE. medicine toxicity. If mental or neurological
disturbance is suspected, REFER for correct
Oral lesions (thrush) diagnosis and prompt treatment.
Many different conditions involving the
oral cavity are encountered in patients with Many patients with HIV will experience
symptomatic HIV infection and these include reactions such as anxiety, which can itself
Candida albicans, the most common cause cause mental and physical symptoms. Such
of oral thrush. It is characterized by white patients are best treated with reassurance,
sloughs covering many areas of superﬁcial counselling, home care and social support.
ulceration on the gums, palate and tongue.
In severe cases, the lesions extend into the HIV-associated skin diseases
lower pharynx and oesophagus to cause Many patients with HIV infection (80%–90%)
nausea, dysphagea, and epigastric pain. develop dermatological conditions, which
• Nystatin: one tablet 500 000 IU x 4 daily may be very disabling, disﬁguring and even
(sucked or chewed). Therapy should life threatening. They may be caused by
be continued for at least 48 hours after bacterial, viral (i.e. herpes zoster lesions),
symptoms have resolved. If nystatin oral fungal (i.e. oral thrush), tumours (i.e. Kaposi’s
tablets are not available, vaginal tablets or sarcoma) and medicine reactions (i.e.Stevens-
gentian violet can be prescribed. Johnson syndrome). For the treatment of
• Gentian violet: local application of gentian these disorders refer to relevant chapters in
violet 1% aqueous solution twice daily for this manual. For very severe cases and those
1 week. which do not respond to treatment, REFER:
• For oral thrush which does not respond to
ﬁrst line antifungal,or when it is associated Failure to thrive (FTT)
with dysphagia, REFER if alternative drugs • Severe malnutrition is a common feature of
are not available (e.g miconazole gum end stage HIV disease. It is very important
patch, ﬂuconazole) to rule out associated TB. If TB is suspected,
• Since other causes may be involved such REFER.
as herpes simplex virus infection, if no • Identify any other associated problems
improvement within 7 days, REFER. such as persistent diarrhoea, oral thrush,
and respiratory conditions and treat
Central nervous system disorders accordingly.
Patients with HIV infection may present with • If able to feed and not severely
a broad range of mental and neurological malnourished, treat as recommended in
disorders such as confusion, psychosis, the chapter on malnutrition.
dementia,depression,peripheral neuropathy, • Review after 2–4 weeks. If not improving,
etc. These could be due to the HIV itself, REFER.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES VIRAL INFECTIONS Chapter 12 - 189
Pain relief recommends ﬁxed-dosage combination
For the management of pain relief, refer to (FDC). The decision about which medicines
the relevant section in this manual. In severe to make available in a particular country
cases that do not respond to full doses of or area, depends on a number of different
ordinary analgesics, REFER. factors. These include the availability, price
of medicines, the numbers of pills per dose,
Prevention of opportunistic infections: the side-effects, and laboratory monitoring
cotrimoxazole prophylaxis requirements. Most ARV medicines have
Giving cotrimoxazole daily to HIV infected various adverse effects and patients need
patients prevents the occurrence of a number careful and continuous monitoring by
of opportunistic infections, and reduces trained health professionals.
mortality. It does not replace antiretroviral
treatment but should be part of the standard
HIV care for adults and children.
• In adults with symptomatic HIV infection,
give cotrimoxazole double strength
(960 mg) or two single strength (480 mg)
• Cotrimoxazole prophylaxis is also
recommended for all children born to an
HIV-infected mother, starting at 6 weeks
of age, until infection can be excluded
and in HIV-infected children clinically
Medicine treatment of HIV/AIDS
HIV has no cure. Antiretroviral medicines
(ARV) suppress viral replication, improve
symptoms, and prolong life. Effective therapy
requires combination of three or four
medicines simultaneously to be taken every
day for the rest of life. Still the medicines may
cease to work after some time, especially if
the adherence to treatment is not good.
In order to simplify treatment, facilitate
storage and distribution, and improve
patient compliance to treatment, WHO
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES VIRAL INFECTIONS Chapter 12 - 191
• d4T (NRTI) alternative name stavudine
Current recommended treatment protocols in Somalia
• ZDV (NRTI) alternative names zidovudine or
Patient Currently Use in Comments AZT
group recommended women • EFZ (NNRTI) alternative name efavirenz
treatment of child • NVP (NNRTI) alternative name nevirapine
protocols bearing • 3TC (NRTI) alternative name lamivudine
HIV/AIDS HAS NO CURE. Current treatment
Adults and d4T+3TC+NVP Yes
adolescents (First line
improves condition but is life-long and may
and children standard) have side-effects.
and/or >10 d4T+3TC+EFZ No Particularly
kg (First line for patients Prevention of HIV infection
non-standard with TB co-
Within the health care services, prevention
(Option A)) infection and
those unable means NEVER using unsterilized needles,
to tolerate syringes, razor blades, scalpels etc, and never
nevirapine. using unscreened blood for transfusion.
AZT+3TC+NVP Yes Particularly for The main preventive method however is to
(First line patients with promote safe sexual practices. Safe sexual
non-standard peripheral practices mean:
(Option B1)) neuropathy • Abstinence from sex, if possible
of therapy • Faithful and ONLY one partner (non-HIV
or following infected)
treatment • Prompt treatment of sexually transmitted
with the infections.
containing • Consistent use of condoms.
Health worker safety
AZT+3TC+EFR No Health workers should consider EVERY
non-standard person to be potentially infected with HIV.
(Option B2) Thus all health workers should observe
the following precautions while handling
Children <3 AZT+3TC+NVP
biological materials from patients:
<10 kg • Thoroughly wash hands with soap and
water before and after all procedures.
Post- AZT+3TC for 28 days
• Protective gloves should be worn during
prophylaxis procedures at risk of blood exposure and
when handling body ﬂuids.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES VIRAL INFECTIONS Chapter 12 - 193
• If a health worker has a cut or wound, an MEASLES is a notiﬁable disease
occlusive dressing should be applied and
protective gloves worn.
• When signiﬁcant contact with the patient’s Measles
body ﬂuids is anticipated, a suitable
waterproof apron should be worn.
• Laboratory staff should not pipette by Description
mouth. An acute infectious disease caused by a
• There should be careful and proper paramyxo virus. It occurs in children, usually
handling of needles and other sharp between 6 months and 3 years who have
instruments. Reusable needles and not been immunized.
syringes should be:
• Kept prior to sterilization in water, Measles is very infectious for 7 days before
preferably containing disinfectant. and for 2 days after appearance of the rash.
• Cleaned with water, and then
• Fully sterilized using an autoclave, or if Signs and symptoms
not available by prolonged boiling (for • High fever (present before the rash)
at least 30 minutes). • Conjunctitivitis
• Running nose, cough and sore mouth
• Blotchy rash starting from the head and
neck down the body
Early complications Late complications
Otitis media Deafness from chronic
Febrile ﬁts Meningitis and
Stomatitis Activation of latent
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES VIRAL INFECTIONS Chapter 12 - 195
Management • 10–30 kg, give ½ tablet 8-hourly for 10
In uncomplicated cases days.
• NO antibiotics. • >30 kg, give 1 tablet 8-hourly for 10
• Wash eyes with clean water. days.
• Treat sores in and around mouth with • For penicillin allergic patients give:
gentian violet paint and encourage oral Erythromycin tablets before meals:
hygiene. • Children 5–10 kg: 62.5 mg 6-hourly
• Tepid sponging and analgesics for fever: for 10 days.
• Paracetamol (500 mg tablets) as • Children 10–15 kg: 125 mg 6-hourly
required: for 10 days.
• Adults and children over 12 years: 1–2 • Adults and children over 15 kg: 250
tablets 4–6 hourly. mg tabs 6-hourly for 10 days.
• Children 8–12 years: • Observe closely for complications such
1 tablet 4–6 hourly. as croup, unresponsive bronchitis or
• Children 3–7 years: pneumonia, malnutrition and severe
½ tablet 4–6 hourly. dehydration.
• Children 1–2 years • In complicated cases, REFER.
¼ tablet 4–6 hourly.
• Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA, aspirin: 300 mg Prevention
tablets) as required with or after food: • Vaccination with measles vaccine at 9
• Adults: 1–3 tablet 4–6 hourly months.
• Children (older than 12 years): 1 tablet • Quarantine measures (to avoid spread of
4–6 hourly infection).
• Alternatively give ibuprofen.
• Maintain nutritional intake (continue
breastfeeding). POLIOMYELITIS is a notiﬁable
• Give vitamin A: disease
• Children > 1 year: 200 000 units stat on
day 1, 2 and 8.
• Children < 1 year: 100 000 units stat on
day 1, 2 and 8. Poliomyelitis
• In the case of bronchitis or otitis media,
give antibiotics: Description
• Amoxicillin 250 mg tablets): An acute viral infection, which causes
• Adults: 2 tablets 8-hourly for 10 days. weakness or ﬂaccid paralysis of certain
• Children: muscles, especially the legs. Transmission is
• 5–10 kg, give ¼ tablet 8-hourly for 10 faeco-oral.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES VIRAL INFECTIONS Chapter 12 - 197
Signs and symptoms Type A is spread by oral faecal transmission.
• Febrile, ﬂu-like illness This disease is usually mild in children but
• Asymmetric weakness or paralysis of more serious in older people.
muscle groups. Type B is usually sexually transmitted and
can be rapidly fatal.
Type C occurs mainly in injecting drug
Management users and generally takes a chronic course
• NO SPECIFIC TREATMENT.
ﬁnally resulting in chronic liver failure or
• Bed rest; activity in the ﬁrst two weeks may
• Do not give any injections during early
illness (risk of paralysis). Signs and symptoms (mainly types
• Treatment of the fever. A and B)
• Nursing care for paralytic cases and • Acute loss of appetite
physiotherapy once signs have stabilized. • Sometimes pain on the right side of the
abdomen, below the ribs
Prevention • May have fever
• Vaccination • After few days the eyes may turn yellow
• Quarantine measures (to avoid spread of “jaundice”
infection). • Sight and smell of food may cause
• Urine turns dark yellow (like tea) and stools
VIRAL HEPATITIS is a notiﬁable become whitish.
• NO MEDICINE IS USEFUL. ANTIBIOTICS
Viral hepatitis SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN.
• Advise rest and ensure adequate intake of
glucose or other liquids.
Description • Good diet—especially fruits and
Viral hepatitis is a systemic disease that vegetables.
predominantly harms the liver. There is • NO ALCOHOL for at least three months.
usually fever, with marked loss of appetite • In serious cases, REFER
at the onset followed by jaundice. However,
many cases might remain asymptomatic.
There are three main types of viral hepatitis
termed as A, B, C. All three types may have a
similar clinical disease pattern but are due to
completely different viral agents.
PART 1 STANDARD TREATMENT GUIDELINES VIRAL INFECTIONS Chapter 12 - 199
Training manual on
and use of medicines at
the primary health care
Health centre administration
• Planning management
No matter where you are working
or what you are working with, you
cannot do your work efﬁciently
without ﬁrst organizing it.This
chapter will teach you how you can
organize your daily activities, so
that you do not end up one day in a
1. The Malawi prescribers companion. Malawi,
Ministry of Health, 1993.
2. United States of America Management
Sciences for Health in collaboration with
WHO. Managing drug supply. The selection,
procurement, distribution, and use of
pharmaceuticals. Second edition. Kumarin
Planning Step 1: Where are you now?
Learning objectives • Your catchment area
At the end of the session, participants will • Your catchment population
be able to: • Community characteristics
• Plan their work more effectively • Major health problems and priorities
• Assess the needs and priorities of their • Human and ﬁnancial resources
• Develop plans of action which can lead Catchment area
them to their targets Every health centre serves people from
• Develop good relationships with their a certain area. This area has its own
patients and between themselves. characteristics, such as mountains, rivers,
Location: Class room/health centre roads, towns, villages, farms, schools, markets,
etc. As a health worker, it is of a paramount
importance that you know quite well the
Planning characteristics of your catchment area. This
Planning is a process where one thinks ahead knowledge will help you draw a map, which
of time how one will execute a particular job could be vital for your daily activities in the
at some point in the future. For example, if I centre.
want to order medicines for my clinic there
are a few things I ought to know before just Catchment population
ordering the medicines. These include the Knowing the number of people in your area
type of diseases common in my area, the will help you plan in terms of medicines,
yearly/monthly incidence of those diseases vaccinations, deliveries etc. Although it might
etc. In this way I am planning. not be possible to get accurate statistics in
many parts of the country, still it is important
The process of planning consists of four
that you work hard to get a rough estimate
of the number of people living in your
Step 1: Where are you now?
area. Using the data in your centre from
You assess your needs and priorities
earlier years, you can break the catchment
Step 2: Where do you want to go?
population into age groups. This will give
You set up a target/s
you a rough idea of the age distribution of
Step 3: How do you get there?
You draw up a plan of action
Step 4: How do you know you have got
For the success of your work and good
You develop a monitoring system to evaluate
relations with the people in the area, it is
important that you are well aware of the
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES HEALTH CENTRE ADMINISTRATION Chapter 1 - 205
characteristics of the people in the area Example of a target:
such as their occupation, beliefs, customs To fully immunize 80% of children under
etc. Such knowledge will not only help your 1 year old before the end of the next year.
relationship with the people in the area but This is a clear, measurable target that has a
will also help you understand their health deﬁned time-frame and can be achieved.
problems and risk factors.
Step 3: How do you get there?
It is very important you routinely register Here you draw up a plan of action that will
all the people who come into your clinic take you to your goal. Think of travelling
and document their health complaints from Mogadishu to Hargeisa. The type of
accurately in accordance with your local transportation you take will depend, for
or national morbidity register if one exists. example, on your pocket, desire, speed and
Analyse the data regularly, for example every safety. Similarly you should think of the
three months, to get a grasp of the health following factors to prepare your health
situation in the area. In this way, you will get centre to achieve a certain goal:
a good idea of the most common diseases • Resources: List all the necessary resources
in the area, which need your attention and in terms of equipment, supplies, ﬁnancing,
preparation. In this way you will also become transport etc.
aware of what types of health problems you • Job description: Allocate tasks among the
can expect at different times of the year. staff
• Time-frame: Set realistic dates by which
Step 2: Where do you want to go? the activities have to be executed
• Community involvement: discuss your
At this stage you know your area, the plan with the community early on
characteristics of your population and the • Staff motivation: involve all the staff in the
common diseases in your area. Now you clinic from the start.
need to deﬁne the goal or target you want
to achieve at a certain time in the future. REMEMBER!
Your goal must be realistic, measurable and Prioritize your work. It is better to do one
achievable within a speciﬁc time-frame. All the job well, than to have a number of jobs half
members of the staff should be well aware completed.
of this and work towards it. They should be
conditioned towards this goal by displaying Step 4: How do you know you have got
the message as well as your progress in your there?
It is very easy to forget your target if you do
not have the means to continuously check
your work. You can easily be distracted by
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES HEALTH CENTRE ADMINISTRATION Chapter 1 - 207
other events. It is possible that you might whole time. Here you are not irresponsible
overestimate your successes without any but you are suffering from one problem–
objective evaluation.Thus it is important that –poor management! Management is
you have the means to monitor your progress executing things properly and as planned.
routinely. All the staff should be kept abreast It is not necessary that you do all the work
of the progress and alerted for any setbacks. by yourself, but you should see to it that it
You can even develop, for example, charts is done. Apart from your medical duties, as
or graphs, which show the progress of your the person in-charge of the health centre
work. These should be displayed on the walls you are also responsible for the day-to-day
of your health centre so that everyone can running of the health centre. Thus, you can
see what progress is being made. Different be overwhelmed by other tasks if you are
activities will have different charts or graphs, not focused and have priorities in your work.
e.g., one for EPI, another one for MCH etc. Sometimes you must delegate some of the
work to other competent people.
Participants discuss with the moderator REMEMBER!
how to collect population data, develop a Management is getting things done.
sketch map of an area, and draw graphs and
charts of the population characteristics. To improve management at your health
centre you need to develop the following
1. Arrange a decent working environment
Learning objectives Although space is a major problem in most
At the end of the session, participants will health centres in Somalia, it is still important
be able to: to have an environment which helps
• Manage time more effectively and you to execute your work effectively and
efﬁciently protects the privacy of your patients. Most
• Delegate responsibility patients would like to be alone with you to
• Create teamwork discuss intimate problems or for physical
• Involve the community in every step in examination. It is important to utilize the
the plan of action space available to you as effectively as
Location: Class room/health centre possible, i.e. by dividing the rooms with
screens as appropriate. Label all doors in a
Management language the people understand.
Imagine yourself discovering at the end of
2. Plan your work regularly
your working day that you have not fulﬁlled
In order to plan effectively, your ﬁrst priority
half of your planned activities scheduled
is to make a list of all the tasks that must
for that day despite being very busy the
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES HEALTH CENTRE ADMINISTRATION Chapter 1 - 209
be done daily, weekly and monthly at the 3. Delegate responsibility
health centre. Sit down and discuss this with Being responsible does not mean doing
the staff of the health centre. What are the everything yourself. It might actually be seen
most important tasks? Does everyone know as irresponsible if you fail to complete work
what tasks they should be doing during a due to lack of time, while other competent
given period? staff, with time, are available. Delegate
A staff meeting is an important venue as much and as often as possible to your
at which to organize the work of the health staff. However check that things are being
centre. Such meetings should take place done properly while being supportive and
once a week. They should be short and encouraging. Try to develop teamwork at
brief. Minutes from all meetings should be your health clinic. All the staff in the clinic
kept. The meeting will be an opportunity to have a part to play in working towards one
monitor progress and to discuss problems goal. When one person is not available, there
that have occurred recently, and how to should be another one willing to take his/her
solve them and avoid them recurring. These place. In this way you also win the conﬁdence
problems may be personal or related to and the support of the community you are
the health services at your health centre. serving.
Although there is nothing wrong with
showing another person a mistake that he/ REMEMBER!
she has made, in a constructive way, try not Praise in public, criticise in private.
to criticise in the presence of fellow health
workers. On the contrary, praise in public for Group exercise
good work accomplished. In the meetings, Participants discuss with the moderator the
you should decide, which problems need process of delegating responsibility, when to
to be solved ﬁrst; in other words, which praise or criticise staff and how to manage
problem has the highest priority? Then write time more effectively.
down who will be responsible for what.
Separate meetings may be held each
month where members from the community
(elders, women, teachers, community leaders
etc) are invited to attend.Here the community
members (ensuring fair representation of
all groups, especially women and other
vulnerable groups) will get a chance to meet
with you and your staff and discuss their
wishes and concerns. For this reason it is vital
to have a health centre committee where
such problems can be discussed.
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES HEALTH CENTRE ADMINISTRATION Chapter 1 - 211
Management of medicines
• Ordering and receiving of
• Storage and stock management
• Good dispensing practices
1. The Malawi prescriber’s companion. Malawi,
Ministry of Health, 1993.
2. United States of America Management
Sciences for Health in collaboration with
WHO. Managing drug supply. The selection,
procurement, distribution, and use of
pharmaceuticals. Second edition. Kumarin
Ordering and receiving • Unit: The pack size of an item indicates
how many tablets are in each unit (e.g.
medicines 1000, 500, 250, or 100 tablets), or how
many injections are in each unit (e.g.
Learning objectives one ampoule) or how many doses of eye
At the end of the session, participants will be ointment are in each unit (e.g. one tube 3.5
able to: g). The unit is usually a course of treatment
• Determine the average monthly or a month’s supply.
consumption and regular inventory • Monthly consumption: This is the average
• List the important steps in receiving number of units of an item, which are used
medicines over a period of one month (based on
• Be familiar with proper ways of ﬁlling several months’ consumption).
requisitions as well as delivery notes • Minimum stock level: This is the number
• Understand the appropriate actions of units which must be in stock in order to
needed to dispose of damaged or expired last until the next delivery plus the safety
medicines stock which is the number of units needed
Location: Classroom/health centre to cover an unforeseen delay before an
expected delivery. When the amount of
Ordering of medicines an item left in your medicinestore has
Once the required medicines are selected, reached the minimum stock level, it is time
proper medicine order forms must be ﬁlled in to order a new supply.
to request the medicines. It is very important • Order quantity: This is the number of units
that proper calculations have been made to required to be ordered to build up the
order the required amount of medicines for stock to the minimum stock level plus the
a speciﬁed period. average monthly consumption.
• Amount ordered: This is the amount of
Order forms units ordered, which is normally the same
The format of the order forms may vary as the order quantity.
according to the level of the health care • Amount issued: This is the number of units
facility. In general some or all of the following that is actually issued.
terms are likely to be found on the order • Amount in stock: This is the number of
forms: units in stock at the health unit at the time
• Item or stock number: This is a number of placing the order.
used to identify a speciﬁc item in terms of
its description and often unit of issue.
Delivery of medicines
• Description: Medicine name, size and the
There are two main delivery systems:
dosage form (e.g. label, mixture, injections,
• kit system
• indent system.
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES MANAGEMENT OF MEDICINES Chapter 2 - 215
Kit system • Requires tight diagnosis and medicine
This is favoured by some organizations, e.g. control usage (prescribing) to avoid over-
UNICEF. A standard kit is regularly sent to prescribing.
each health facility based on their perceived
needs. Indent procedure
• Check that the quantity delivered
corresponds to the quantity supplied as
• Rational selection of a limited range of
indicated on the delivery note.
• Check each item and tick it off. Each
• Simpliﬁed supply and storage
medicine should be checked for:
• Easy to prepare and deliver particularly in
• Expiry date
• Reduced risk of theft
• General appearance
• More rational prescribing
Any item that has damaged packaging, is
unlabelled, or has passed its expiry date or is
• Less ﬂexible than the indent system
of doubtful appearance should be returned
• Difﬁculty to suit to regional variability in
to the supplier as soon as possible for
morbidity, which may lead to substantial
wastage of certain medicines
• Possibilities of stock-outs and surpluses Delivery note
This must be signed by the person in charge
A kit-based system is a temporary solution
of the warehouse, e.g. assistant pharmacist
and a more ﬂexible system should be
and it should be countersigned and dated by
instituted as soon as it becomes possible to
the health staff receiving the consignment
deﬁne medicines needs more precisely.
of medicines. One copy of the delivery note
Indent system should be kept by the recipient while another
Each health unit requests at regular periods copy should be sent back to the supplier.
the amount of medicines that they feel they
require for that period. Receipt of medicines
When medicine supplies arrive they should
Advantages carefully be checked for:
• Less wastage • Identity: Make sure the items ﬁt exactly
• Supply matches demand. the same description as those that were
Disadvantages • Quantity: Ensure that the number of units
• More difﬁcult to organize of each item supplied is as indicated on
• Requires approval of ofﬁcer-in-charge the order form.
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES MANAGEMENT OF MEDICINES Chapter 2 - 217
• Condition: Check each item carefully for Storage of special preparations
damage or signs of deterioration. • Tablets should be kept in air tight tins or
The person in-charge should only sign the • Injectables should be protected from light,
receipt of the order once he/she is satisiﬁed otherwise some of them will deteriorate
with each of the above controls. Any • Syrups should always be kept in glass-
discrepancies should be noted in writing on bottles not tins
the order form copy and followed up. • Some medicines and most vaccines and
sera need to be kept exclusively in a
Group exercise refrigerator, which is kept in good working
• Participants should discuss the relative order and is always maintained at a
merits of the indent and kit system in temperature of less than 8ºC.
relation to their particular needs.
• Participants should discuss the reasons for Medicine deterioration
the accurate completion of delivery and The health centre staff should always be on
requisition notes. the look-out for physical signs of medicine
deterioration such as changes in consistency,
colour and/or smell. For example a strong
Storage and stock vinegar-like smell is associated with the
management of medicines decomposition of aspirin tablets.
Learning objectives REMEMBER!
At the end of the session, participants will be Medicines that show signs of deterioration
able to: should under no circumstances be given to
• Appreciate the importance of storing patients, as they may be dangerous.
• State the practice and principles of stock Arrangement of medicines
management Medicines must all have their assigned
Location: Classroom/health centre storage place. They can be arranged in
Storage of medicines • In alphabetical order according to their
Medicines should be stored securely to generic names
prevent theft and suitably to prevent • In dosage form and alphabetic order
deterioration. • By therapeutic groups
Stocks of medicines should be always kept:
• In a locked cupboard or room. Arrangement by therapeutic groups is the
• On shelves which are regularly cleaned to most practical at a health centre. It allows
eliminate dust a missing item to be replaced by another
• In a dry, cool place away from light of the same therapeutic class. This also
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES MANAGEMENT OF MEDICINES Chapter 2 - 219
ensures that the health-staff learn about the Stock management
therapeutic indications of the medicines, Once the medicines have been stored in
which facilitates ordering of fresh supplies. an orderly way it is necessary to know the
quantities of each medicine remaining in
Storage hazards the store at any point in time.
• Do not keep medicines for oral (internal)
use with medicines for external and topical To achieve this, we need to always do the
application. They should be separate. following:
• Do not store medicines with poisonous • Keep a proper register of patients seen and
substances and chemicals (e.g. insecticides, medicines prescribed (Patient register)
kerosene, petrol, spirit). This might lead • Record the stock levels of the medicines
to contamination resulting in serious when received and issued (Stock card)
poisoning or even death.
These two sources will enable us to calculate
Identiﬁcation certain data that will be used for drawing
Make sure that all items have proper labels, up the requisition for fresh supplies of
which are easy to read. medicines.
REMEMBER! Patient register
Keep all labels clean and easy to read. Keeping a patient register in your unit is vital
and has the following advantages:
Ordering for use • Provides your health centre with
Medicines which were received ﬁrst should information on the number of patients
be used ﬁrst. This ﬁrst-in-ﬁrst-out procedure seen, i.e. the work load.
ensures that medicines do not sit and expire • Records the frequency of occurrence of
on the shelf. The ﬁrst-in-ﬁrst-out procedure is various key diseases.
easily practised by placing the most recently • Shows you the trends of outbreaks of
received medicines behind the medicines disease so that you can prepare for them.
already sitting on the shelf. • Records the medicine usage and therefore
gives information on the quantity and
types of medicines to request.
• Permits the measurement of patterns of
A red mark can be marked on items nearest
prescribing (prescribing indicators), what
to their expiry date and they should be
percentage of people receive antibiotics,
placed in front so that they can be used ﬁrst.
You can also notify your supervisor if you
• Gives information to your supervisors
have a large number of items nearing their
so they can help you to become an even
expiratory date so that they can be given to
better prescriber (prescriber training).
other needy units.
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES MANAGEMENT OF MEDICINES Chapter 2 - 221
• Gives you information to form the basis for On 22.11.05 800 tablets of paracetamol
planning health surveys. were issued, Mark 800 in the issued column
and work out the remaining stock level =
Stock cards (previous stock level–medicines issued) line
A stock card should be made for each (3) of the card.
medicine and should, if possible, be on a stiff
board (see ﬁgure). Thus each movement is entered on the card
and each time the stock level is calculated.
Medicine Paracetamol tabs 500 mg Periodically an inventory (4) should be taken
(a) Average monthly consumption:................ and in theory this should correspond to the
(b) Safety stock (stock level below this calculated stock level.
requires you to order) .........................................
Average monthly consumption
From the stock card we can determine the
Stock level number of medicines etc that have been
issued over the month. This ﬁgure can be
averaged for 3 months or at the end of the
year for 12 months, i.e. monthly average for
1.11.05 1000 the year = total number of medicines issued
(1) over the year divided by 12.
15.11.05 WHO 3000 4000
22.11.05 Juba H.C. 800 3200 REMEMBER!
(3) This is the minimum below which the stock
30.11.05 Inventory 3200 cannot be allowed to fall if it is not to run
When making a stock card, make an inventory In other words the quantity of medicine
of the medicine and mark the quantity in needed for the interval between placing the
stock on the ﬁrst line (1) of the Stock Level order and delivery. This interval is called the
column, i.e. inventory 1000 tabs. Delivery Lead Time. For example if the lead
Then as each order comes in write the time is 14 days and the average monthly
quantity delivered under the received consumption is 3000 tablets, the safety stock
column i.e. will be:
15.11.05 Received 3000 tablets.
3000 × 14 = 1400
Work out the new balance = (stock received 30 days
+ stock in hand) line (2) of the card.
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES MANAGEMENT OF MEDICINES Chapter 2 - 223
Thus whenever a new order is placed, there Good dispensing practices
must still be at least 1400 tablets in stock
to make sure of not running out of stock
before the new order is delivered. However Learning objectives
if deliveries from the Central Medical Store At the end of the session, participants will be
(CMS) are unreliable, for one reason or able to:
another, it might be necessary to make the • Learn the process of good dispensing
safety stock = the amount of medicines practices
consumed in the normal maximum time of • Understand the consequences of poor
delivery from the CMS × 1.5 or even × 2, in dispensing practice
other words 2100 or 2800 tablets. Location: Classroom/health centre
At regular intervals (e.g. monthly) a stock Dispensing refers to the process of preparing
count should be taken of what is in the and giving out medicine to a named
store. The quantity counted should equal person on the basis of a prescription. Good
the quantity expected as written on the dispensing practices ensure that an effective
stock card. If the ﬁgures are not equal note form of the correct medicine is delivered to
it in RED. the right patient, in the prescribed dosage
and quantity, with clear instructions and in
The reason for such a discrepancy may be: a package that maintains the potency of the
• Expired medicines medicine.
• Missing medicines
• Card not properly completed The process of dispensing may be divided
• Incorrect amount of medicine supplied into:
1. Reading and understanding the
Group exercise prescription
• Participants should be given a 2. Collecting the correct medicine
demonstration of the correct and incorrect 3. Counting or pouring out the correct
methods of storing medicines. amount of the medicine
4. Packing and labelling of the medicine
REMEMBER! 5. Giving the medicine to the patient and
Good stock management does not just explaining how it is used.
mean keeping a card. The information
Reading and understanding
entered on that card must at all times be
• Make sure that it is genuine. Patients might
correct and the quantities on the shelves
write their own unauthorized prescriptions
must correspond to the quantities written
on the card.
• Make sure that you understand what is
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES MANAGEMENT OF MEDICINES Chapter 2 - 225
written on the prescription. If you can not Packaging and labelling
read the writing, check with some one • After you have counted and measured the
else. right amount, pack and label the medicine
• Make sure you clearly understand the dose using, for example, plastic dispensing
asked for and check that it is correct. Again envelopes, paper envelopes etc. When you
if you are uncertain, ASK! choose a method of packing, consider the
length of time the patient will be taking
REMEMBER! the medicine.
Never guess what is written on a
prescription. If you are uncertain, ASK! REMEMBER!
Dispensing medicines in a piece of paper
Collecting the correct medicine or in a dirty container or directly into the
• Make a habit to always read the label. patient’s hand is INAPPOPRIATE PRACTICE.
Looking for medicines by looking at their
colour, size, or shape can be dangerous. • After you have packed the medicine,
• Read the generic name, which is always label it clearly and correctly. Patients have
the same no matter which company has often forgotten verbal instructions by the
manufactured it. time they have reached home. Attach a
• Make sure you do not confuse similar written (or preferably pictorial label) to the
names, for example chlorhexidine, dispensing container.
chlorpheniramine, chlorpromazine, • Labels should not be abbreviated and
chloroquine etc. should preferably be written in the
• Check the expiry date and quality of the patient’s language.
medicine. For example, injections must
have no particles or look cloudy. Check Giving the medicine to the patient, and
that the container is intact and has no explaining how it is used
cracks. Similarly check for any damage to Information for patients—explain clearly
the tablets, liquids and ointments. so that the patient understands your
instructions. Ask them to repeat the dosage
Counting out the medicine regime and the duration of treatment.
• Calculate accurately the amount of • How much medicine is to be taken: The
medicine you should supply to the patient should know how much to take
patient. because, for example, some people may
• After counting, measure the total quantity believe that taking more medicine will
supplied to the patient. Counting tablets mean a quicker recovery.
and capsules by hand is not recommended. • How often to take the medicine: The
Ideally a so-called counting tray can be patient should know clearly how many
used or any clean smooth surface and a times he should take the medicine and in
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES MANAGEMENT OF MEDICINES Chapter 2 - 227
association or not with food, milk or other
Duration: For some medicines, such as
antibiotics and antitubercular medicines,
it is very important that patients follow
the doctor’s prescription and complete the
course of treatment. They should not stop
when they feel better. Patients must clearly
understand how often to take the medicine,
in what quantity and for how long. The
length of treatment may need to be many
days, weeks or months. The consequences
of not following the doctor’s instructions
should be clearly explained to the patient.
The group may visit a pharmacy or a medical
store and observe the whole process of
dispensing a medicine to a patient and then
write their own comments on whether they
think the medicine was dispensed in the
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES
Rational use of medicines
• Essential medicines concept
• Rational use of medicines
• Use and misuse of injections and
• Non-medicine treatment
• Making a diagnosis
• Rational use of tuberculosis
Essential medicines concept Components of the essential
The essential medicines strategy is one
adopted to make sure that a regular supply
At the end of the session, participants will
of safe, effective and affordable medicines is
be able to:
available in enough quantities and based on
• Deﬁne what “essential medicines” means.
the primary health care system.
• List the components of the essential
The essential medicines strategy is
more than the supply of medicines. For this
• Appreciate the generic concept and its
strategy to have the desired effect, emphasis
should be placed on all aspects of:
• Compose a national/local essential
Location: Classroom/health centre
• inland shipment, and ﬁnally
Essential medicines are those medicines
• rational use
that are the most needed for the health care
of the majority of the population in a given Rational use of medicines involves the
locality and therefore should be available at whole range of the therapeutic process,
all times in adequate amounts, and in proper which includes making the proper diagnosis,
dosage forms. giving the right medicine in the correct
There are thousands of different regimen and ﬁnally the patient’s compliance
medicines available today in the world in the actual use of the medicine given.
market. Every year, more products are put Any interruption in this process could have
into the market. Of these, only a few are serious consequences for the therapeutic
completely new preparations while the outcome.
majority are modiﬁcations of already existing
medicines with different names and labels. REMEMBER!
Most of these new products carry no major The concept of essential medicines must
medical advantage over older ones, while be followed in organizing and delivering
they cost several times more. health care.
WHO’s latest model list of essential
medicines (2005) contains about 312
medicines. However, experience has shown
that a hundred or less medicines can take
care of the majority of our health problems.
In fact most common health needs can be
met by less than 50 medicines.
RATIONAL USE OF MEDICINES Chapter 3 - 231
The concept takes into account the c) Use of generic names
following. Medicines should be listed by their generic
names rather than their trade (proprietary)
a) Identiﬁcation of the therapeutic needs names, e.g. paracetamol not Panadol. The
The therapeutic needs of any locality are advantages of this are
identiﬁedbylistingthemostcommondisease • It assures clarity by giving information on
conditions that occur in the community the group of medicines and thus avoids
which need remedy or prevention by the confusion arising out of many different
use of medicines. Against each of these trade or brand name for the same generic
disease conditions, the medicines of choice medicine.
which will effectively treat or prevent the • Medicines of equal quality are usually
disease are listed, i.e. Standard Treatment cheaper when purchased by their generic
Guidelines. names rather than their trade or brand
b) Selection of essential medicines • Use of a generic name is a valuable aid to
The selection of essential medicines is memory. Health workers have to learn one
based on the morbidity pattern identiﬁed name only.
in the country and recommendations • The generic name is the internationally
made by WHO and other health-related recognized non-proprietary name (INN)
organizations. for any medicine or pharmaceutical
The following criteria are used for the substance. It is not dependent on who
selection of medicines. makes or sells it. Thus it can be easily
• level of use, i.e. relevance to the capacity of recognized.
key health staff
• medical importance, efﬁciency and safety d) Essential medicine lists
• cost The essential medicines list is a guiding
• stability in local storage conditions (shelf model and indicates priority in medicine
life) needs. The list is drawn up locally and
updated periodically according to the level
IMPORTANT! of health care. Estimation of quantities
All decisions to select a particular medicine needed is based on epidemiological data, i.e.
should be based on good scientiﬁc number of treatment episodes multiplied by
evidence and not just on the personal the number of doses needed for a cure.
opinion of a local specialist based on
anecdotal evidence. e) Medicine supply management system
This is the system by means of which the
medicine supply is managed and the
documents involved in recording the
movement of medicines. It requires a system
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES RATIONAL USE OF MEDICINES Chapter 3 - 233
of monitoring and evaluation. Records Rational use of medicines
should be kept of:
• disease patterns (morbidity index)
• supplies (stock control) Learning objectives
• use of medicines (patient register). At the end of the session, participants will
be able to:
f) Training • Deﬁne what is meant by the rational use
Training should be an integral part of any of medicines
essential medicine programme. This includes • Recognize the criteria for the rational/
medical students, physicians, nurses, other correct use of medicines
healthcare professionals as well as health • List the causes for irrational prescribing
authorities at all levels. Every one who is • List and describe types of irrational
involved in the implementation of such a prescribing
programme should be made to understand • Discuss and agree on ways of improving
properly the essence of essential medicines the prescribing of medicines especially
and the long-term health beneﬁts to the antibiotics, TB medicines and antimalarials
whole community or nation. Training on Location: Classroom/health centre
essential medicines should never be a one-
time event, but rather a continuous process Rational prescribing
at all levels.
Rational use of medicines is the process of
Group exercise giving patients medications appropriate
• Participants develop a list of conditions to each patient’s clinical needs, in sufﬁcient
in order of priority in their area and agree doses that meet their own requirements,
on the appropriate treatment for each for an adequate period of time and
condition. at the lowest cost to them and to their
• Participants discuss and update their own community.
PHC essential medicine lists, if available, This means deciding on the correct
and indicate which medicines they treatment for an individual patient based on
consider the most vital. good scientiﬁc reasons. It involves making
an accurate diagnosis, selecting the most
appropriate medicine from those available,
prescribing this medicine in adequate doses
for a sufﬁcient length of time according
to the standard treatment guideline.
Furthermore it involves monitoring the
effect of the medicine both on the patient
and on the illness.
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES RATIONAL USE OF MEDICINES Chapter 3 - 235
In summary, the criteria for assessing rational • Giving medicines for a longer period
use include: than is necessary to complete a cure, e.g.
• Appropriate indication giving benzyl benzoate for more than
• Appropriate medicine 48 hours.
• Effective • Incorrect prescribing
• Safe • The use of the wrong medicine for a
• Affordable speciﬁc condition requiring medicine
• Appropriate administration therapy, e.g. tetracycline in childhood
• Dosage diarrhea requiring ORS.
• Route • Prescribing a medicine without making a
• Duration diagnosis.
• Appropriate patient • The use of correct medicines with
• Appropriate patient evaluation incorrect administration, dosages and
duration, e.g. the use of intravenous
Most illnesses respond to treatment using metronidazole, when suppositories or
simple inexpensive medicines. Sometimes oral formulations would be appropriate.
no medicines are needed. The unnecessary • Unnecessary prescribing
use of expensive medicines means some Prescribing of multiple medicines with
patients go without treatment when they a view that something will work, e.g. it
are sick because there is not enough money is common observation that a patient
to buy all the medicines required. with fever is prescribed an antipyretic, an
antimalarial and an antibiotic.
Patterns of irrational medicine use • Prescribing of medicines with doubtful/
Common examples of irrational medicine unproven efﬁcacy
use include: • The use of diethylstilbesterol to prevent
• Extravagant prescribing miscarriage.
The use of an expensive medicine when a • The use of antidiarrhoeal mixtures such
less expensive one would be an effective as kaolin and pectin.
and safe, e.g. the use of ampicillin, where • Dangerous prescribing
phenoxymethylpenicillin could be used. • The use of certain analgesics which
• Over-prescribing contain dipyrone, despite its potential
• The use of medicines when no medicine to cause fatal blood disorders,
therapy is indicated, e.g. antibiotics for agranulocytosis.
viral upper respiratory infections. • The use of diethylstilbestrol despite the
• The use of larger doses than are necessary fact that it can cause cervical and vaginal
to treat a condition, e.g. a high dose of cancer in daughters of women who used
antibiotics when a lower dose would the medicine during pregnancy.
just be as effective.
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES RATIONAL USE OF MEDICINES Chapter 3 - 237
• Under-prescribing • Heavy patient load
• Failure to provide available, safe and • Patient or industry
effective medicines, e.g. failure to • Pressure to prescribe
vaccinate against measles or tetanus. • Limited experience
• Giving too low a dose of the medicine
or giving it for too short a period, e.g. Medicine supply system
as commonly seen with antibiotics and • Unreliable suppliers
antimalarials, which leads to medicine • Medicine shortages
resistance and/or poor response. • Supply of expired medicines
Examples of commonly encountered
inappropriate prescribing practices include: Medicine regulation
• Overuse of antibiotics and antidiarrhoeals • Non-essential medicines available
for non-speciﬁc childhood diarrhoea • Non-formal prescribers
• Indiscriminate use of injections • Lack of regulation enforcement
• Multiple medicine prescriptions
All of these factors are affected by national
• Use of antibiotics for treating minor acute
and global trends and practices. For
example, the use of injections is declining in
• Anabolic steroids for growth and appetite
many African countries because of the fear
• Tonics and multivitamins for malnutrition.
Impact of irrational use of
Factors underlying irrational use
of medicines The impact of irrational use of medicines can
There are many different factors, which affect
be seen in many ways:
the irrational use of medicines. In addition,
• Reduction in the quality of medicine
different cultures view medicines in different
therapy leading to increased morbidity
ways, and this can affect the way medicines
• Waste of resources leading to reduced
The major factors are: utilization of other vital medicines and
Patients increased costs.
• Patient’s poor knowledge of his/her m • Increased risk of unwanted effects, such
• Misleading beliefs as adverse medicine reactions and the
• Patient demands/expectations emergence of medicine resistance, e.g. as
in malaria or dysentery.
Prescribers • Psychosocial impacts, such as when
• Lack of education and training patients come to believe that there is “a pill
• Inappropriate role models .
for every ill” This may cause an apparent
• Lack of objective medicine information increased demand for medicines.
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES RATIONAL USE OF MEDICINES Chapter 3 - 239
Strategies to improve medicine 4) are examples of quantitative data, but to
use get qualitative data you need to ask people
• Educational approaches, which seek to or observe them. Once you know what and
inform or persuade prescribers, dispensers, why something is happening then you can
and patients to use medicines in a proper decide on a suitable strategy.
way, e.g. regular trainings, production of In any decision to change medicine
medicine bulletins and clinical supervision. policy, it is important to consider ﬁrst its
• Managerial approaches, which structure local acceptability, costs involved, short
or guide decisions through the use of and long-term medical and ﬁnancial gains,
speciﬁc processes, forms, packages or possible constraints, and how to monitor its
monetary incentives, e.g. essential medicine successes and failures.
lists, medicine procurement review, regular
supervision of prescribing habits and other Summary
methods of audit. Rational prescribing involves:
• Financial approaches, which reward • Getting a comprehensive history and
rational prescribing and deter doing a good examination so that an
polypharmacy, e.g. performance-related accurate diagnosis can be made.
pay, user charges. • Selecting the best medicine and
• Regulatory approaches, which restrict prescribing it in an adequate dose. In
availability of certain problem medicines, medicine selection, consider effectiveness,
e. g. requiring generic prescribing, banning safety, cost and availability.
certain medicines. • Advising the patient to complete the
standard course of treatment and checking
How to select the best strategy to that your instructions are understood.
improve medicine use
Before you select a strategy to improve
• Participants discuss how to improve
prescribing, you need to know the problem.
prescribing for antimalarials,
You think you have a problem of irrational
antituberculosis medicines and antibiotics.
medicine use. To ﬁnd out you need data.
• Participants divide into groups and each
This data may be quantitative, for example,
group designs a project to investigate
how often injections are given in your
a medicine problem, i.e. misuse of
clinic, or qualitative, for example, why your
antibiotics, overuse of injections, etc. Then
prescribers are using injections. In other
each group proposes a strategy to deal
words quantitative data tell you what is
with the problem.
happening and qualitative data why it is
happening. Unless you know why something
is happening you cannot choose the right
strategy to change it. Indicators (see Chapter
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES RATIONAL USE OF MEDICINES Chapter 3 - 241
Use and misuse of Two injections which are frequently abused
injections and infusions
Chloroquine injections are often given at the
Learning objectives start of treatment for malaria in the mistaken
At the end of the session, participants will be
belief that it will act more quickly. This has
been proved to be wrong. Blood levels rise
• Explain reasons why injections are
more quickly (within 30 minutes) with oral
treatment than with injections. In the case of
• Describe the dangers of the overuse of
injections, most of the chloroquine remains
in the tissues.
• Observe proper procedure when giving
injections Chloroquine injections are bad because:
• Discuss and adopt strategies to reduce the • they can cause cardiac arrest, especially in
use of injections and infusions. children;
Location: Classroom/health centre • they can cause abscess;
• they are expensive.
Misuse of injections
There are many ways to give medicines to REMEMBER!
a patient. These include giving them by Chloroquine has been removed from the
mouth, applying them topically or by giving Somalia essential medicines list because
injections. Each way has its indications, of high Plasmodium falciparum resistance.
advantages and disadvantages. However If malaria is suspected or diagnosed, use
injections are frequently misused for the other anti-malarial medicines as described
following reasons. under the treatment of malaria in this
• Patients demand them because they manual.
believe they will give the best cure
• The health worker gives them to satisfy
the patients Procaine penicillin
• The health worker gives them for ﬁnancial This is the most abused injection and is
reward unnecessarily and incorrectly administered
• The health worker believes they will give for almost every kind of complaint. In one
the best cure study in one developing country 95% of the
• The health worker is unsure of the patients visiting a private practitioner were
diagnosis but wants to be seen to be doing given procaine penicillin. Often it is only
something. given for short periods in some cases one
day only. The result is the development of
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES RATIONAL USE OF MEDICINES Chapter 3 - 243
Dangers of injections Important steps to be taken when
• Damage to the sciatic nerve— giving injections
intramuscular injection should not be
given into the buttock but into the anterior Sterilization of the syringe and needle
lateral side of the mid thigh. • The syringe has two parts. Take it apart
• There is always a risk of injecting i.m. and boil both sections and the needles for
medicines into a blood vessel with serious 20 minutes starting from when the water
results (always pull back on the syringe starts to boil.
before injecting). • After boiling, put the needles and syringes
• If the syringe and needle are not properly together without touching them with your
sterilized there is a risk of transmitting hands. Use sterile forceps.
hepatitis and HIV. When available, use
disposable syringes and needles. If these Giving the injection
are not available be sure to follow the • Draw up the correct amount of medicine
sterilization procedure described below. required into the syringe and expel any air.
Take precautions not to contaminate the
HIV/AIDS has no known cure. Health needles or the syringe.
workers have a duty to control the spread • Choose the injection site and clean it with
of this disease by making sure that they use soap and water, alcohol, surgical spirit or
sterile syringes and needles if they have to whatever is available.
give injections. • Insert the needle and draw back to make
sure you are not in a blood vessel. Inject
REMEMBER! the medicine.
Always use sterile syringes and needles if • Remove the needle and gently clean the
you have to give injections. skin again.
• After injecting, rinse the syringe and needle
When you prescribe anything ask the at once. Push water through the needle
following questions: and then take the syringe apart and wash
• Does the patient need any medicines? it. Boil again for 20 minutes before using
• If yes, can the patient be managed with an again.
• If no, then the patient may need an Group exercise
injectable medicine using sterile syringes • The participants discuss with the facilitators
and needles. other commonly misused injections.
• The participants draw up a plan of action
to monitor and limit the use of infections
in their health facility.
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES RATIONAL USE OF MEDICINES Chapter 3 - 245
Non-medicine treatment What happens when a health worker is faced
with psychosomatic symptoms?
Learning objectives The following points should lead the health
At the end of the session, participants will be worker to a correct diagnosis.
• Identify conditions which do not require History-taking
medicine treatment • Take a complete history. Let the patient tell
• Manage conditions which do not require his own story. You will learn something by
medicine treatment the way he tells it.
Location: Classroom/health centre
Listen and be patient.
Management of conditions, which
do not require the use of medicines • Remember your patient needs privacy
Many of the complaints for which people to tell you something that he doesn’t
seek medical treatment do not require want other people to overhear. e.g. Think
medicines. Outpatient records show a of a cashier who has stolen the villagers’
number of ill-deﬁned terms, which are not money. He is now worried that the villagers
true diagnoses. Examples are abdominal are after him. He develops a symptom of
pains, dizziness, headache and chest pains. dizziness and he cannot sit in his ofﬁce.
These are often reactions to stress. Worries Unless you listen to him in private, he
can cause disease-like symptoms. People will not explain his real worries. It is often
worry about their family, jobs, money, house, worth asking the patient what he/she
animals and other things. Different people thinks is wrong.
react differently to stress. For example, a
father taking care of 10 children and another Physical examination
10 dependents may develop a headache After listening to the history do the
because he has no money to buy them following:
food. • Check the pulse, blood pressure and
Making a diagnosis • Look for anaemia
A health worker can usually diagnose • Perform an appropriate physical
organic diseases better than psychosomatic examination. Give particular attention
conditions. In common medical practice, to the system relevant to the patient’s
the management of organic diseases like symptoms to make sure that you don’t
malaria, pneumonia and dysentery is clear miss anything.
and easy to follow.
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES RATIONAL USE OF MEDICINES Chapter 3 - 247
• If the problem is psychosomatic it is • Is the medicine the most suitable for the
probable that no abnormality will be patient and the condition?
detected. • Does the medicine have any side-effects?
If so its risks may outweigh its possible
Laboratory investigation beneﬁts.
• Avoid expensive complicated laboratory
Prescribing gives the impression that
tests. Do not even suggest them. These
something is being done while, in reality,
might reinforce the patient’s feeling about
nothing objective is achieved. It may
neither relieve the symptoms nor treat the
• Simple inexpensive tests like stool
underlying cause. Giving a medicine might
microscopy for ova, haemoglobin
in certain situations be unnecessary and
investigation and testing urine for pus
incorrect. Much more might be achieved
cells, albumin and sugar can be performed
simply by trying to educate the patient or
to conﬁrm your suspicion that there is no
the family and to explain the real cause/s of
Most health workers think that they are
Do not prescribe a medicine for the sake of
too busy to talk to the patients. Talking and
letting the patient talk is an important part
of treatment especially in patients with
If you decide a medicine is needed, ask
psychosomatic disorders. Remember, one
yourself “is the medicine the most suitable
hour spent with one such patient during
for the patient and the condition” If you feel
one visit may save you 10 hours listening to
you must give a placebo (inactive substance),
the same complaints day after day. Therefore
give one that does no harm e.g. iron or folic
use layman’s language to explain your
acid rather than, say, aspirin, which might
negative ﬁndings. You will be surprised to
give the patient a gastric ulcer.
learn that patients prefer to be told that they
In some circumstances, giving a medicine
is neither suitable for the patient nor will it
Before prescribing a medicine, ask
help the condition. Actually, it may have a
negative effect. Often the most important
• Does the patient need a medicine?
method of dealing with the problem is
• Does the patient need a medicine
patience and community education. For
to relieve symptoms and to treat the
underlying condition or are you giving
• In uncomplicated protein–energy
them medication to make them feel that
malnutrition (PEM), all the patient needs is
something is being done? In that case you
more food rich with protein.
may be treating yourself and your own
• In hepatitis A, which is mainly spread
insecurities rather than the patient.
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES RATIONAL USE OF MEDICINES Chapter 3 - 249
through contaminated food and drink, Group exercise
health education on the need to improve • Participants discuss other common
water supply and sanitation is required. conditions, which do not require medicines
and how to manage them.
If you decide to give a medicine, you should • Moderator asks participants to present
ask yourself: cases for which medicines were not used
• Does the medicine have any side effects? and the outcome was good.
• Does any possible beneﬁt outweigh the
possible risks of the medicine?
• Does any possible beneﬁt of the medicine Making a diagnosis
justify its cost to the patient or to the
All medicines have side-effects. These effects At the end of the session, participants will be
must be taken into consideration before a able to:
medicine is prescribed. In protein-energy • State the reasons behind a detailed and
malnutrition (PEM) and hepatitis A, the systematic history taking
patient may be better off without medicines. • Conduct a thorough physical examination
In both conditions the liver is damaged. Since • Identify the necessary equipment/s
the liver metabolizes most medicines, the risk needed to do this
of giving them to patients with liver disease • Select appropriate laboratory tests to be
might outweigh the possible beneﬁts. performed.
Individual health education and Location: Classroom/health centre
community education are the best means
to manage these conditions. Take more time Making a proper diagnosis
to talk to your patient to convince him/her A proper and accurate diagnosis is necessary
that a medicine is not required. Talk to the before the correct treatment can be given. A
community so that they recognize the wrong diagnosis can be responsible for:
problems and take preventive measures. • the patient not being cured
• wastage of medicines and money
REMEMBER! • longer queues at the health unit because
The best “medicine” for the patient may be patients have to come again for the same
the health worker’s advice.
• loss of conﬁdence in the health unit and
the national health care system
• a further spread of communicable
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES RATIONAL USE OF MEDICINES Chapter 3 - 251
Examples of wastage of medicines are: Your questions should be directed towards
• When every patient with pain is given these aims. They will be relevant and
aspirin together with a number of other meaningful if you:
medicines in the hope that one will cure • have adequate knowledge of human body
the complaint; in health and disease;
• When fever is treated with an antimalarial, • can relate common complaints (symptoms)
an antibiotic and/or an analgesic; such as headache, fever, backache, joint
• When cough syrup is given without pains etc. to the disease patterns in your
ascertaining the reason for the cough. area;
• can interpret the patient’s words based on
The practice of multiple prescribing is your knowledge of the social and cultural
wasteful and often results in the patient circumstances of the area. Patients usually
not being treated properly. have their own terms to describe their
sufferings. It is up to you to interpret their
To make a proper diagnosis go through the symptoms properly.
• Be sure your patient is relaxed and REMEMBER!
comfortable. Avoid short cuts by treating symptoms.
• Try to establish a feeling of empathy.
• Get a good history from the patient. Important points to remember when
• Do a thorough examination. taking a history:
• If you have a laboratory only do the • Allow the patients enough time to describe
relevant tests to conﬁrm your tentative their problems.
diagnosis. • Have patience, tolerance, understanding
• Record your ﬁndings on an OPD/MCH card and sympathy.
and your diagnosis and treatment in the • Show interest in your patient.
Patient Register. • Do not ask leading questions.
• Do not rush to examine the patient.
History-taking • Look for non-verbal communication. Use
Taking a good history from the patient is the your ears, eyes, nose and hands.
most important step in making an accurate
diagnosis. It can: All too often the health worker uses
• suggest certain diagnostic possibilities the stethoscope before the patient has
• exclude other diagnostic possibilities completed the history of his complaint. In
• give direction for further investigation this situation the stethoscope is used to plug
• provide the only evidence on which to the ears! For example, a patient may tell you
make a diagnosis. he has a cough but unless you give him time
to tell you that he has had it for three weeks
and has started to cough blood you may
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES RATIONAL USE OF MEDICINES Chapter 3 - 253
miss the diagnosis of tuberculosis, which Common signs in children and adults
may not be picked up by a stethoscope.
Signs Child Adult
Examination Raised temperature ++ ++
The traditional method of conducting a Anaemia ++ ++
physical examination is by: Swollen tonsils with pus ++ +
• palpation Ear discharge ++ +
• percussion Skin rash ++ +
• auscultation Oedema ++ ++
Jaundice + +
There are a number of points to remember.
• Do not take short cuts. Poor nutritional status ++ +
• Make sure the patient is properly Dehydration ++ +
Abdominal tenderness ++ +
• Try to get the patient relaxed.
• Be gentle. Urethral discharge – +
• Start palpation well away from the tender Palpable abdominal mass + +
areas. Neck stiffness ++ +
• Look for common conditions in your area.
Enlarged lymph nodes + +
• Privacy is important.
Red eyes + +
Convulsions + +
Irritability ++ +
– not common + common ++ most common
Basic equipment required for the health
• Examination bed
• Clinical thermometer
• Blood pressure machine
• Spatula or a spoon
• Torch or adequate source of light
• Weighing scales for adults and children
• Measuring tape
• Screen or private room
• Gloves (of various sizes)
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES RATIONAL USE OF MEDICINES Chapter 3 - 255
• OPD cards However, tuberculosis is an exception:
• Forms and patient register
• Chair and table REMEMBER!
• Foetal stethoscope All patients with a chronic cough for more
• Soap, water and towels than three weeks, especially with weight
• Syringes and needles and sterilizing loss and night sweats should have three
equipment early morning sputums examined for acid-
• Glass slides fast bacilli and be HIV tested. Do not rely
• Sterile containers for bloods, urine etc. completely on the laboratory. They can
be wrong. Follow your clinical judgment.
Note: Most of this equipment can be A good clinician can do more for his/her
improvised. patients, than a laboratory ever can.
If immunizations are conducted in your clinic
you will need also: Diagnosis
• A parafﬁn refrigerator The ﬁndings from the history, examination
• Cool boxes. and laboratory tests must be recorded on
the OPD card together with a differential
diagnosis. You may be sure of the diagnosis
and act accordingly but keep an open mind.
As an aid to making a proper diagnosis,
You may be wrong. Ensure you have a record
simple laboratory procedures may be
when the patient returns for follow up or
performed. These may include:
with a new problem.
• stool microscopy for cysts and ova.
• urine microscopy for RBCs, WBCs, casts, ova
etc. Group exercise
• urine for albumin and sugar Participants carry out role-play of given
• thick blood ﬁlm for malaria parasites clinical situations.
• blood for haemoglobin • They will be asked to take a full history.
• sputum for acid-fast bacilli • They will then decide on what they feel
• urethral/cervical/vaginal smear for is the differential diagnosis from that
• skin scrapings for fungus. • They will then be asked to demonstrate
how they would examine a patient with
Laboratory investigation is expensive. In that history and describe to the group
many cases you can rely on your clinical skills. what they are looking for.
• Facilitators can play the role of a “bad
clinician” and a good clinician, then discuss
the two role-plays.
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES RATIONAL USE OF MEDICINES Chapter 3 - 257
Rational use of tuberculosis usual medicines will not work. There are
many people infected with drug-resistant
medicines strains of tuberculosis in the world today
and the numbers are increasing because of
Learning objectives inadequate tuberculosis treatment.
At the end of the session, participants will be
able to: The key to controlling tuberculosis
• Identify reasons why tuberculosis The key to controlling tuberculosis is
medicines need strict supervision. to make sure that patients take all their
• Propose ways of ensuring that patients medicines regularly. The best way to do this
comply with tuberculosis treatment is for health workers to watch the patients
Location: Classroom/health centre actually swallow their medicines. This is the
key to stopping tuberculosis at the source.
This is called directly observed treatment,
Treatment of tuberculosis short-course (DOTS).
The combination of medicines Unfortunately instructing all the world‘s
recommended by WHO is called short- health workers to “be sure that your
course chemotherapy and is 95% effective. If tuberculosis patients take their medicines is
used properly, these medicines would make not as simple as it seems. Many tuberculosis
it possible to virtually eliminate tuberculosis patients are poor and live in remote villages,
as a public health threat. so it can be difﬁcult to motivate health
workers to verify that their tuberculosis
The problems of drug resistance patients are completing treatment and a
Unfortunately the problem with tuberculosis high percentage of people are cured. Health
medicines is that they must be taken for a workers themselves need supervision and
long time — at least 6 months. Frequently, encouragement. Many patients in Somalia
once the coughing ends and other may be nomads.
symptoms go away, tuberculosis patients
lose the incentive to continue taking their Main objectives of tuberculosis
When tuberculosis treatment is treatment
inadequate or incomplete, the bacilli in the • The patient is cured
person’s lungs can survive and multiply again. If treatment is taken properly the patients
This will cause a relapse. Some of the bacteria will lose their infectivity within 2 weeks, be
may become drug-resistant and cause a symptom free in 4 weeks and will have more
more dangerous form of tuberculosis, i.e. than a 95% chance of being successfully
drug-resistant tuberculosis. These cases are cured. If treatment is not provided, most
very difﬁcult to treat and will infect others patients who are sick with tuberculosis will
with their drug-resistant bacteria. Then the die within 5 years. Compliance is very difﬁcult
to achieve if the medicines are not supplied
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES RATIONAL USE OF MEDICINES Chapter 3 - 259
free of charge.
• The spread of the disease is stopped
The top priority is to treat sputum-positive
patients because they are the ones that
infect the community. The properly treated
patient is no longer infectious and cannot
pass the disease on to others. It is estimated
that if the sputum positive patient is not
treated and remains infectious he or she will
infect, on average, 10 to 20 other people in a
tuberculosis is prevented
When a patient is successfully treated it
is virtually impossible for that person to
develop multidrug-resistant tuberculosis
and spread these bacilli to others. DOTS is
the key to stopping tuberculosis epidemics.
Health workers must watch their patients
swallow each dose of their medicines.
Supervision is usually daily of the ﬁrst 2
months and ideally should continue for the
whole 6 months of the treatment.
How compliance has been
enhanced in tuberculosis
• Patients have been asked to pay a
• Community elders or trusted relatives are
required to sign an undertaking for the
Participants should discuss ways to ensure
compliance in their patients who are taking
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES
• How to investigate medicine use
in health facilities
1. WHO. Action Programme on Essential
Medicines: How to investigate medicine use
in health facilities. WHO/DAP/93.1
2. United States of America Management
Sciences for Health in collaboration with
WHO. Managing drug supply. The selection,
procurement, distribution, and use of
pharmaceuticals. Second edition. Kumarin
How to investigate medicine and can be implemented in a standard way
by individuals without special training or
use in health facilities access to many resources.
Types of indicators used to investigate health
Learning objectives facilities are grouped into:
At the end of the session, participants will 1. Prescribing indicators
be able to: 2. Patient care indicators
• Plan a study using indicators 3. Health facility indicators
• Understand sampling procedures 4. Medicine store indicators
• Collect data and ﬁll the forms
• Analyse data and report back The forms for recording these indicators are
• Display the results in the form of graphs to be found at the end of this chapter.
Location: Classroom/health centres/medical Prescribing indicators
stores/private pharmacies5 These measure the appropriate use of
medicines. WHO suggests the following
Medicine use indicators basic prescribing indicators:
The WHO conference on the rational 1. Average number of medicines per
use of drugs held in Nairobi, Kenya in encounter. This measures the degree of
1985 marked the beginning of efforts to polypharmacy.
improve the use of medicines, particularly 2. Percentage of medicines prescribed by
in developing countries. In 1993, the WHO generic name. This measures the tendency
Action Programme on Essential Drugs to prescribe by generic name.
(WHO/DAP) published the manual “How to 3. Percentage of encounters with an antibiotic
investigate drug use in health facilities” The prescribed.
manual presents twelve core indicators to 4. Percentage of encounters with an injection
gather pertinent data on the medicine use prescribed.
situation in health facilities. This standard
set of medicine-use indicators can be These indicators are easy to measure either
used to assess the problems of clinically or retrospectively or prospectively. How to
economically inappropriate medicine use, use them is described later but for detailed
to make comparisons between groups or to descriptions you should read “How to
measure changes over time, as a supervisory investigate drug use in health facilities”
tool to identify individual prescribers or available from WHO.
health facilities with especially poor patterns
of medicine use, and to measure the effect
of interventions. The techniques for using
the indicators have been thoroughly tested,
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES MEDICINE SUPERVISION GUIDELINE Chapter 4 - 263
Patient care indicators Facility and medicine store
These measure key aspects of what patients indicators
experience at health facilities, and how well These indicators measure how well health
they have been prepared to deal with the facilities or medicine stores are being run.
medicines that have been prescribed and They can be of great help to managers to
dispensed. check on the performances of their health
1. Average consulting time: This measures the facilities and dispensaries. The indicators are
time that medical personnel spend with applicable at all levels and can be modiﬁed
patients in the process of consultation and and adjusted where possible to local
2. Average dispensing time: This measures the
time that personnel dispensing medicines Facility indicators
spend with the patients 1. Is there a map visible on the wall showing
3. Percentage of medicines actually dispensed: the catchment area?
This measures the degree to which the 2. Is there a good estimate of the population
health facilities are able to provide the and its age structure in the catchment area?
medicines which were prescribed. 3. Is there an action plan including timetable
4. Percentage of medicines adequately towards set targets?
labelled:This measures the degree to which 4. Is there a system to monitor the health
dispensers record essential information on facility performance (i.e. graphs
the medicine packages they dispense. and charts on the walls?
5. Patients’ knowledge of correct dosage: 5. Is teamwork practised in the health facility
This measures the effectiveness of the (i.e. staff meetings, group discussions,
information given to the patients on delegation of responsibilities)?
the dosage level of the medicines they 6. Does the staff regularly meet with the
receive. community to get them involved in the work
These indicators are more difﬁcult to collect 7. Is a copy of a Standard Treatment Guideline
and are done prospectively (i.e. at the time available in the facility?
the patient visits the health facility). You will 8. How many of a basket of medicines are
have to train the data collectors. Reference available in the health facility?
should be made to the WHO publication
“How to investigate drug use in health Medicine store indicators
. 1. Are there completed requisition forms in the
2. Are medicines properly stored in the
health facility (i.e. cleanliness, ventilation,
temperature, exposure to sunlight?)
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES MEDICINE SUPERVISION GUIDELINE Chapter 4 - 265
3. Are stock cards used for movement of sample is by random sampling, i.e. picking
medicines in or out of the medicine store? by chance.
4. Is the information recorded on the stockcards The size of the sample your want
for a basket of medicines the same as the to include in your survey/study is also
quantity of stock in the store? important. The larger the size of the sample
5. Are medicines stored in the store according you are studying the higher the likelihood
to FIFO? you get reliable results. According to WHO
6. Are there any expired medicines in the the minimum number of samples per facility
store? should be thirty. It might take a long time
to look at all the prescriptions issued over
How to collect prescribing a given period, so to simplify the procedure
indicators you ﬁrst need to decide how many to
Sources of data sample.
Any collection of data requires careful
planning. Where are the sources of your REMEMBER!
data? This may be the consulting room, The larger the sample size, the more
the dispensary, the medical stores, the accurate the results are.
administrative ofﬁces or even the patient’s
home. If you want to look at prescribing Data analysis and reporting
in your health facility you will need to ﬁnd When you have selected your study sample
out where the treatments are recorded. Is it analyse each prescription and ﬁll in the
on the OPD cards or on prescription forms prescribing Indicator Form (a copy is found
or in the pharmacy log books. Are your at the end of this chapter). You will need to
records complete? Perhaps injections are know which medicine names are generic
recorded in a separate place. It is easier to and which are trade. You will have to decide
look at past (retrospective) data. Over what what is an antibiotic? (Is metronidazole an
period will you take your sample? How many antibiotic, etc?) Do you include creams and
prescriptions will you examine? eye ointments? Do medicine combinations
count as one or several medicines? Once
Sampling and sample size you have decided this, then be consistent.
The way you select your sample is The WHO publication “How to investigate
important. For example if you are studying medicine use in health facilities” will advise
the prescriptions of a clinic, you cannot just you on these choices.
come and select the last or ﬁrst one hundred Once you have recorded all the sample
prescriptions since these samples may not prescriptions then calculate the indicators.
be representative. This is called convenience It should be easy if you have looked at
sampling and should only be used as a last 100 prescriptions. Are the results what
resort. The best way to select your study you expected or do they come as a shock?
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES MEDICINE SUPERVISION GUIDELINE Chapter 4 - 267
Are they reasonable or is there need for
improvement? If you are looking at several
prescribers, is there a big variation between
them? In which case who are the poor
Do an analysis of the results and make
comments. Feed the results back to your
prescribers. Remember to praise as well
as criticize. If there is evidence of poor
prescribing, try to ﬁnd the reasons for this. It
may be pressure of work, lack of medicines,
patient pressure, etc. Only if you know the
reason for irrational medicine use can you
hope to develop a successful strategy to
The group divides into 3–4 subgroups and
each group designs a study to investigate the
use of one antibiotic, injection or antimalarial
medicine in several nearby primary health
care health facilities. Each group must select
30 prescriptions randomly and analyse
and calculate the prescribing indicators.
Each group should present their results,
which should be recorded on a ﬂip chart.
Participants should discuss any differences
in their results, the reasons for this and what
strategies could be used to improve the
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES MEDICINE SUPERVISION GUIDELINE Chapter 4 - 269
PRESCRIBING INDICATOR FORM
Health facility______________________ Date_____
# # #
Seq. Date of Rx Age Medicines Generics Antibiotic Injection on EML Diagnosis
No. (0/1)* (0/1)*
% % % %
% of total of total of total of total
medicines medicines medicines medicines
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES MEDICINE SUPERVISION GUIDELINE Chapter 4 - 271
PATIENT CARE INDICATOR FORM
Health facility______________________ Date_____
Dispensing # Adequately
# Medicines # Medicines Knows dosage
time prescribed dispensed labelled (0/1)*
No. (secs) (0/1)*
of medicines adequately of patients know
% labelled dosage correctly
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES MEDICINE SUPERVISION GUIDELINE Chapter 4 - 273
HEALTH FACILITY INDICATOR FORM
Health facility______________________ Date_____
Visible map Action Team work Community Copy of
Population oring of key
No. (0/1)* plan practised involved STG medicines
estimated (0/1)* system
(0/1)* (0/1)* (0/1)* (0/1)* (0/1)* (0/1)*
% % % % %
with visible with population % with with with community having a having key
(%) map estimate with action plan monitoring teamwork copy of medicines
system practised STG
*0=No; 1=Yes STG: Standard treatment guidelines
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES MEDICINE SUPERVISION GUIDELINE Chapter 4 - 275
MEDICINE STORE INDICATOR FORM
Medicine store_____________________ Date_____
Completed Are Are Is FIFO Any expired Store
Seq. requisition forms medicines stock information on system medicines in management
No. available properly stored cards used stockcards correct practised the store handbook
(0/1)* (0/1)* (0/1)* (0/1)* (0/1)* (0/1)* available
with completed % used % completed % % with no having store
(%) requ. forms medicines stockcards practise expired
properly stockcards management
correctly FIFO medicines handbook
PART 2 RATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND USE OF MEDICINES MEDICINE SUPERVISION GUIDELINE Chapter 4 - 277
Somalia essential medicines
A*=Health centre close to referral
B*=Health centre away from referral
Medicine name A* B* Hospitals
Acetylsalicylic acid tablet, 300 mg X X X
Aluminium hydroxide tablet, 500 mg X X X
Aminophylline inj, 25 mg/ml X
Aminophylline tablet, 100 mg X
Amitryptilline tablet, 25 mg X
Amoxycillin tablet, 250 mg X X X
Ampicillin powder injection, 1 g vial X
Artesunate tablet, 50 mg X X X
Ascorbic acid tablet, 50 mg X X X
Atenolol tablet 40 mg X
Benzathine benzylpenicillin injection,
2.4 MIU, 5 ml vial X X
Benzoic acid + salicylic acid, ointment,
6%+3%, 500 g X X X
Benzyl benzoate lotion, 25%, 1 L X X X
Benzylpenicillin injection, 5 MIU X X X
Butylscopolamine bromide tablet, 10 mg X X
Butylscopolamine bromide, injection
20 mg/ml, 1 ml X
Cetrimide + chlorhexidine X X X
Chloramphenicol capsule, 250 mg X
Chloramphenicol powder injection, 1 g X
ANNEX 1 SOMALIA ESSENTIAL MEDICINES LIST 2006 281
Chlorhexidine 5% solution for dilution X X
Chlorpheniramine tablets, 4 mg X X X
Chlorpromazine injection, 25 mg/ml, 2 ml X
Chlorpromazine tablet, 100 mg X
Clofazimine capsule, 100 mg X
Cloxacillin capsule, 500 mg X
Dapsone tablet, 100 mg X
Dexamethasone injection. 4 mg/ml, 1 ml X
Dextrose injection, 5%, 500 ml X X
Dextrose injection, 50%, 20 ml X
Diazepam injection, 5 mg/ml, 2 ml X X
Diethylcarbamazine tablet, 50 mg X
Digoxin tablet, 0.25 mg X
Doxcycyline tablet, 100 mg X X
Epinephrine (adrenaline) inj, 1 mg/ml, 1
ampoule X X
Ergometrine inj, 0.2mg/ml ampoule X X
Erythromycin tablet, 250 mg X X
Ethambutol tablet, 400 mg X
Ferrous salt + folic acid, tablet equivalent
to 60 mg iron + 0.40 mg folic acid X X X
Folic acid tablet, 5 mg X X X
Furosemide injection, 10 mg/ml, 2 ml X
Furosemide tablet, 40 mg X
Gentamycin injection, 40 mg/ml, 2 ml X
ANNEX 1 SOMALIA ESSENTIAL MEDICINES LIST 2006 283
Glibenclamide tablet, 5 mg X
Griseofulvin tablet, 125 mg X
Hydralazine injection, 20 mg/ml amp X X
Hydrochlorothiazide tablet, 25 mg X X
Hydrocortisone acetate ointment, 1%, 15 g X
Hydrocortisone powder injection, 100 mg X
Ibuprofen tablet, 400 mg X X X
Insulin medium-acting 100 IU/ml, 10 vials X
Insulin short-acting 100 IU/ml, 10 ml vials X
Ketamine injection, 50 mg/ml X
Lidocaine 2%, 20 ml + adrenaline
injection, 2.2 ml X
Lidocaine gel 2%, 30 g tube X
Lidocaine injection, 1% X
Magnesium sulfate injection, 500 mg/ml,
in 10-ml ampoule X X
Mebendazole tabs, 100 mg, 500 mg X X X
Meglumine antimoniate, injection,
30%, equivalent to approximately 8.1%
antimony, in 5-ml ampoule X
Methyldopa tablets, 250 mg X
Methylrosanilinium chloride (gentian
violet), 0,5 % solution X X X
Metronidazole injection, 5 mg/ml, 100 ml X
Metronidazole tablet, 250 mg X X X
Niclosamide tablet, 500 mg X
ANNEX 1 SOMALIA ESSENTIAL MEDICINES LIST 2006 285
Nicotinamide tablets, 50 mg X
Nystatin pessaries, 100 000 IU (vaginal) X X X
Oral rehydration salt (ORS) X X X
Oxytocin injection, 10 IU/ml, 1 ml X X
Paracetamol tablet, 100 mg X X X
Paracetamol tablet, 500 mg X X X
Pethidine injection, 50 mg/ml X
Pethidine tablet, 50 mg X X
Phenobarbital tablet, 50 mg X
Phenoxymethylpenicillin tablet, 250 mg X X X
Polyvidone iodine solution, 10%, 5 L X X X
Polygeline 3,5%, 500 ml X
Praziquantel tablet, 600 mg X X X
Prednisolone tablet, 5 mg X
Probenecid tablet, 500 mg X
Procaine benzylpencillin 3 million IU +
benzylpenicillin 1 million IU, vials X
Promethazine injection, 25 mg/ml, 2 ml X
Pyrazinamide tablet, 500 mg X
Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) tablet, 250 mg X
Quinine injection, 300 mg/ml, 2 ml vial X X
Quinine tablet, 300 mg X X
Ranitidine injection, injection, 25 mg/ml in
2-ml ampoule X
ANNEX 1 SOMALIA ESSENTIAL MEDICINES LIST 2006 287
Ranitidine tablet, 150 mg (as
Retinol (vitamin A) capsules, 100,000 units X X X
Rifampicin + isoniazid (150 mg/100 mg)
Rifampicin + isoniazid (150 mg/150 mg)
Rifampicin tablet, 300 mg X
Rifater (Rifampicin 120 mg+ isoniazid
50 mg + pyrazinamide 300–400 mg) tablet X
Ringer lactate sol (bottle), 500 ml X X
Salbutamol tablet, 4 mg X X X
Silver sulfadiazine 1% topical cream, 500 g X X X
Sodium chloride sol. 0.9%, 500 ML X X
Spironolactone tablet, 25 mg X
Streptomycin 1 g vial X
(500 mg + 25 mg) X
Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim tablet
(100 mg + 20 mg) X X X
Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim tablet
(400 + 80 mg) X X X
Tetracycline 1% eye ointment, 5 g X X X
Thiamine (vitamin B1) hydrochloride,
tablet 50 mg X
Zinc sulfate X X X
ANNEX 1 SOMALIA ESSENTIAL MEDICINES LIST 2006 289
Medicines for special • Doxcycyline tablet, 100 mg
• Metronidazole tablet, 250 mg
programmes in Somalia • Nystatin pessaries, 100 000 IU
• Tetracycline 1% eye ointment, 5 g
Antituberculosis medicines • Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim tablet,
• Rifampicin + isoniazid tablet, (150 mg/150 mg) (400 mg + 80 mg)
• Rifampicin + isoniazid tablet (150 mg/100 mg) • Ceftriaxone, powder for injection, 250 mg (as
• Rifater tablet, (rifampicin 120 mg + isoniazid sodium salt) in vial
50 mg + pyrazinamide 300–400 mg) • Norﬂoxacin tablet, 400 mg**
• Ethambutol tablet, 400 mg • Clotrimazole pessary, 500 mg
• Pyrazinamide tablet, 400 mg • Spectinomycin tablet, 2*
• Pyrazinamide tablet, 500 mg
• Ciproﬂoxacin tablet, 500 mg*
• Streptomycin injection, 1 g vial
Drugs for leishmaniasis
Vaccines for universal • Meglumine antimoniate, injection, 30%,
immunization equivalent to approximately 8.1% antimony, in
• BCG vaccine 5-ml ampoule;
• Diphtheria vaccine • Pentamidine powder for injection, 200 mg,
• Hepatitis vaccine 300 mg (isethionate) in vial
• Measles vaccine
• Pertussis vaccine *Not included in the Somalia Essential Medicines
• Poliomyelitis vaccine List.
• Tetanus vaccine ** Not included in the WHO or in the Somalia
• Rabies vaccine Essential Medicines List.
Drugs for leprosy
• Clofazimine capsule, 50 mg, 100 mg
• Dapsone tablet, 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg
• Rifampicin capsule or tablet, 150 mg, 300 mg
Drugs for sexually transmitted
• Erythromycin tablet, 250 mg
• Benzathine benzylpenicillin inj, 2.4 million IU
• Amoxycillin tablet, 250 mg
• Probenecid tablet, 500 mg
• Augmentin tablet, 375 mg*
ANNEX 1 SOMALIA ESSENTIAL MEDICINES LIST 2006 291