Inconsistent country-wide reporting of adverse drug reactions to antimicrobials in Sierra Leone (2017–2021): A wake-up call to improve reporting
Abiri, Onome T.
Komeh, James P.
Conteh, Thomas A.
Bah, Abdulai Jawo
Kanu, Joseph Sam
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Thomas, F., Abiri, O.T., Komeh, J.P., Conteh, T.A., Bah, A.J., Kanu, J.S., Terry, R., Abrahamyan, A., Thekkur, P. and Zachariah, R. (2022) ‘Inconsistent country-wide reporting of adverse drug reactions to antimicrobials in Sierra Leone (2017–2021): A wake-up call to improve reporting’, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(6), article no. e3264.
Background: Monitoring of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to antimicrobials is important, as they can cause life-threatening illness, permanent disabilities, and death. We assessed country-wide ADR reporting on antimicrobials and their outcomes. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using individual case safety reports (ICSRs) entered into the national pharmacovigilance database (VigiFlow) during 2017−2021. Results: Of 566 ICSRs, inconsistent reporting was seen, with the highest reporting in 2017 and 2019 (mass drug campaigns for deworming), zero reporting in 2018 (reasons unknown), and only a handful in 2020 and 2021 (since COVID-19). Of 566 ICSRs, 90% were for antiparasitics (actively reported during mass campaigns), while the rest (passive reporting from health facilities) included 8% antibiotics, 7% antivirals, and 0.2% antifungals. In total, 90% of the reports took >30 days to be entered (median = 165; range 2−420 days), while 44% had 75% of all variables filled in (desired target = 100%). There were 10 serious ADRs, 18 drug withdrawals, and 60% of ADRs affected the gastrointestinal system. The patient outcomes (N-566) were: recovered (59.5%), recovering (35.5%), not recovered (1.4%), death (0.2%), and unknown (3.4%). There was no final ascertainment of ‘recovering’ outcomes. Conclusions: ADR reporting is inconsistent, with delays and incomplete data. This is a wake-up call for introducing active reporting and setting performance targets.