Enhancing accountability

Supportive supervision to improve medicines management

 

WHO defines supervision - a managerial activity- as the "overall range of measures to ensure that personnel carry out their activities effectively and become more competent at their work". It also aims at giving health workers job satisfaction. Supervision ensures that health workers carry out their activities effectively and become more competent and motivated at their work. Nevertheless, supervision is often weak despite being a critical district activity to increase quality of care. Although highly recommended, itis rarely conducted as a planned activity due to lack of transportation means, fuel, financial resources, as well as inadequate training of supervisors in supervisory skills.

Supportive supervision in Dodoma region is carried out by the Council Health Management Teams (CHTM). However tools and procedures are weak and limited by available resources. Using short checklists enables teams to provide guidance on the technical aspects of services which should result in improving quality of health care. Checklists help organize the work of supervision to make it regular and reliable.

The currently used supervision checklists of districts in Dodoma region were analyzed for items and questions resp. indicators referring to medicines management. Findings revealed that supervision checklists for medicines are either absent or of poor quality. Questions do not cover relevant aspects of medicines management, are poorly structured and cannot be measured or validated against standards.

During a workshop the various district supervision checklists were discussed and a new, improved and harmonized list was developed. Together with harmonization and an enhanced process of supportive supervision in the whole region the supervision checklist has been implemented.