ecancermedicalscience

Research

Oncology pharmacy units: a safety policy for handling hazardous drugs and related waste in low- and middle-income African countries—Angolan experience

1 Oct 2015
Ana Vaz da Conceição, Dora Bernardo, Lygia Vieira Lopes, Fernando Miguel, Fernanda Bessa, Fernando Monteiro, Cristina Santos, Blasques Oliveira, Lúcio Lara Santos

In African countries, higher rates of late-stage cancers at the time of first diagnosis are a reality. In this context, hazardous drugs (HDs), such as chemotherapy, play an important role and have immense benefits for patients’ treatment.

HDs should be handled under specific conditions. At least a class 5 environment primary engineering control (PEC), physically located in an appropriate buffer area, is mandatory for sterile HDs compounding, as well as administrative control, personal protective equipment, work practices and other engineering and environmental controls, in order to protect the environment, patient, and worker.

The aim of this study is to describe the Angolan experience regarding the development of oncology pharmacy units and discuss international evidence-based guidelines on handling HDs and related waste. Measures to incorporate modern and economical solutions to upgrade or build adequate and safe facilities and staff training, in order to comply with international guidelines in this area, are crucial tasks for African countries of low and middle income.

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