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Pharmacy Board Unveils App to Enable Reporting of Adverse Reactions to Drugs

Kenyans can now use their mobile phones to report adverse reactions to Covid-19 vaccinations and suspected low-quality drugs. The Pharmacy and Poisons board has unveiled a new app and a USSD code to enhance vigilance and enable reporting of quality-related issues for drugs and technologies in the country.

The app can be downloaded from the Google play store, while the USSD code can be accessed by dialing *271# Public users can then go ahead to add a new report or continue filing a report.

Both options will require users to specify whether they are making their own report, or reporting on behalf of someone else. Details required include gender, age group, and symptoms of the adverse reactions or poor quality medicines.

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“If the symptoms you have experienced are not on the provided list, you can go ahead and add them,” Christine Gichiki from board said.

“[You can also] provide the date of when the reaction started, whether it is ongoing and provide the name of the medicine or vaccine and when you stopped taking the medication.”

Additional details to be submitted include the drug manufacturers’ name and place of purchase. Other details you will be required to submit include the name of the manufacturer and where you got the medication from.

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PPB chief executive Fred Siyoi said that since the launch of the national Pharmacovigilance Electronic Reporting System in March 2021, more than 16,000 reports of adverse reactions have been received.

“We need to sensitise people more to use the app, especially the public. As we use the system we will know where there are issues and come up with a perfect system,” Siyoi said.

The board seeks to use the mobile solutions to enhance public engagement in the reporting of adverse events, especially since the deployment of the Covid-19 vaccines.

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“With the system, patients can provide firsthand information and experiences for both over the counter and prescription medicines,” Health CAS Rashid Aman said during the virtual launch.

“Capturing such reports for analysis is critical as only patients can provide such information.”

The mobile system facilitates the reporting of immunisation-related adverse events, adverse drug reactions, and suspected low-quality medical items and technology. Medication errors, transfusion reactions, medical device mishaps, and public reporting are all supported via the USSD. The mobile solutions are for use by both health care providers and the public.

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