Pharmacy World & Science

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 131–136 | Cite as

Drug information in Zimbabwe: 1990–1999

  • Douglas E. BallEmail author
  • Dexter Tagwireyi
  • Chiedza C. Maponga
Research Article



To assess the utilisation and development of the Zimbabwe Drug And Toxicology Information Service (DATIS)


The national drug and poisons information centre in Harare, Zimbabwe.


A survey of records at the Zimbabwe national Drug and Toxicology Information Service (DaTIS) for the period January 1990 to December 1999 was conducted and compared to a previous review.

Main outcome measures

Average annual reporting rate, distribution of service users and report categories


The mean (SD) reporting rate was 142.9 (81.6) p.a. with an increasing trend. Most contacts came from the capital city (67%). Pharmacists (40%) predominated in requests for drug information (DI), which comprised about three-quarters of reports, whereas toxicological enquiries mostly came from physicians (49%). Therapeutic categories mentioned most in DI reports were systemic anti-infective (24%) and nervous system agents (20.4%). Pesticides (28%) predominated in toxicology requests followed by pharmaceuticals (21%), largely nervous system (36%) and antiparasitic agents (23%).


Compared to the previous decade, use of DaTIS had not grown significantly due to perceived resource constraints, lack of local political and institutional support and divided loyalty of staff. The drug and poison information components serves two distinct user populations with separate needs. Development plans for both DaTIS and other drug information services in Africa need to be realistic taking into account the resource constraints and local political and institutional support.


Drug information Poisons information Clinical toxicology Zimbabwe Sub-Saharan Africa Pharmacy 


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The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support which the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and the Department of Pharmacy have provided over the years. The work of Prof. OMJ Kasilo in the operations of DaTIS during the period of this review is acknowledged as are the contributions of other pharmacists in the Department of␣Pharmacy who assisted with on-call duties. The assistance of Ms Sirira Tom in handling the administration of DaTIS and in data entry of records into the database is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas E. Ball
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dexter Tagwireyi
    • 2
  • Chiedza C. Maponga
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, Health Sciences CenterUniversity of KuwaitSafatKuwait
  2. 2.Drug and Toxicology Information Service, Department of Pharmacy, School of MedicineUniversity of ZimbabweHarareZimbabwe

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