Background Patients experiencing adverse drug events (ADE) in many developing countries are in the best position to report these events to the authorities but need to be empowered to do so. Systematic evaluation of community engagement and patient support especially in rural areas would provide evidence for a program to monitor potential harm from medicines. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of a community dialogue and sensitization (CDS) program on the knowledge, attitude and practises of community members for reporting ADE. Methods This an uncontrolled before-after study was conducted in two eastern Ugandan districts between September 2016 and August 2017 Results After implementation of the community dialogue and sensitization (CDS) program, there was an overall 20% (95% CI:16% to 25%) increase in knowledge about ADE in the community compared to before the program began. Awareness levels increased by 50% (95% CI: 37% to 63%) among those with little or no education and by41% (95% CI: 31% to 52%) among young people (15–24 years). Furthermore, 5% (95% CI: 3% to 7%) more respondents recognized the need for reporting ADEs compared to before the program. Finally, there was a significant increase of 115% (95% CI:137% to 217%) in respondent recognition and reporting of ADEs compared to the beginning of the CDS program. Overall, this community found the CDS program acceptable and proposed aspects that could be improved for future use. Conclusion Our evaluation showed that the CDS program increased knowledge and improved attitudes by catalyzing discussions among community members and healthcare professionals on health issues and monitoring safety of medicines compared to before the program. Successful implementation of the program depends on holistic health systems strengthening and adaptation to the community’s way of life.
Byomire Ndagije, H., Manirakiza, L., Kajungu, D., Galiwango, E., Kusemererwa, D., Olsson, S., … Speybroeck, N. (2019). The effect of community dialogues and sensitization on patient reporting of adverse events in rural Uganda: Uncontrolled before-after study. PLoS ONE, 14(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0203721