The Open Public Health Journal

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Experiences of Professional Nurses Regarding the Implementation of a Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution Program at Primary Health Care Facilities in South Africa.

Livhuwani Muthelo*, 1, Tshinanne Nemagumoni2, Tebogo Maria Mothiba3, Arthur Thabo Phukubje1, Linneth Nkateko Mabila1
1 Department of Nursing University of Limpopo, Private Bag X1106, SOVENGA 0727 , Polokwane, South Africa
2 Faculty of Health Sciences Executive Dean’s Office, University of Limpopo, Private Bag X1106, SOVENGA 0727, Polokwane, South Africa
3 Department of Pharmacy, University of Limpopo, Private Bag X1106, SOVENGA 0727, Polokwane, South Africa



The Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) program is a new program initiated by the Department of Health, South Africa to provide an alternative chronic medicine access program to public sector patients. The program is designed to improve access to required medicine, especially to patients who are on chronic medicines while assisting with the decongestion of public clinics.


The purpose of the study was to determine the experiences of professional nurses regarding the implementation of the Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution program.


A qualitative descriptive, phenomenological and exploratory design research was conducted to determine the experiences of professional nurses regarding the implementation of the central chronic medicine dispensing and distribution program. Purposive sampling was used to select 15 professional nurses who participated in the study. Data were collected through a semi-structured one-on-one interview method, using a scheduled interview guide. The study was conducted in three Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities in Vhembe District, Limpopo Province, where professional nurses dispensed medicine to patients through the CCMDD programme. Data were analysed using Tesch’s method. Lincoln and Guba's four strategies were applied to ensure trustworthiness.


The findings of this study reveals that proffessional nurses in Vhembe experienced challenges with the implementation of the CCMDD program; such as late delivery of medication, lack of parcel tracking, patients receiving collection notification messages late, incorrect medication being issued to the patients, lack of pick up points in rural areas, and lack of patients’ data availability in the clinic facilities.


South Africa is in the process of developing and implementing universal health care for all (National Health Insurance). The effective implementation of the CCMDD program should ensure equal access for all patients to their medication, in both rural and urban areas.

Keywords: Experiences, Professional nurse, Implementation, Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing Distribution program, Epidemiological profile, Sub-Saharan African countries.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2020
Volume: 13
First Page: 477
Last Page: 483
Publisher Id: TOPHJ-13-477
DOI: 10.2174/1874944502013010477

Article History:

Received Date: 30/03/2020
Revision Received Date: 07/08/2020
Acceptance Date: 07/08/2020
Electronic publication date: 22/09/2020
Collection year: 2020

© 2020 Muthelo et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Department of Nursing Science, University of Limpopo, Private Bag X1106, Sovenga, 0727, South Africa; E-mail:

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