SIAPS

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman.}Photo credit: Warren Zelman.

This post originally appeared on the Frontline Health Workers Coalition blog.

Ayelew Adinew was working as a pharmacist in a large public hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He looked around and saw that the 100-year old pharmaceutical system was broken.

There was no transparent and accountable system for providing the information needed for effective monitoring and auditing of pharmaceuticals and other commodities. There was not sufficient documentation to track consumption, inventory discrepancies, wastage, product over-stock or under-stock. There were no procedures to ensure the availability of essential medicines. The regulations were outdated and there was no enforcement of the relevant regulations in place to protect the safety of clients, ensure proper utilization of resources, and deter professional malpractice.

[Photo credit: Jane Briggs/MSH}Photo credit: Jane Briggs/MSH

This post originally appeared on SIAPSProgram.org.

Accounting for more than one million under-five deaths each year, pneumonia is the leading killer of children under the age of five worldwide, claiming more lives than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. This year’s World Pneumonia Day (WPD) theme is “universal access to pneumonia prevention and care”.  In commemoration of WPD, child health advocates are calling for pneumonia control through proven interventions that protect against, prevent, and treat pneumonia. Through our work in community case management (CCM) and expanding access to amoxicillin, the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded, MSH-led Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program uses a systems-strengthening approach to expand universal access to pneumonia prevention and care.

 {Photo credit: Mark Tuschman.}A pharmacy in Kenya.Photo credit: Mark Tuschman.

Guaranteeing that patients have uninterrupted access to anti-tuberculosis (TB) treatment begins with national TB programs (NTP) making complex calculations about how many cases to expect in the future.  Vigilant stock management, accurate number of cases started on each type of treatment along with forecasting the expected number of patients that will be enrolled on treatment, are vital to ensure that medicines are available to all patients who need them.

To promote a systems-strengthening approach to TB medicines management, the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) program developed QuanTB—a downloadable, desktop tool that transforms intricate calculations into a user-friendly dashboard displaying key quantification and supply planning information.

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman.}Photo credit: Warren Zelman.

This post originally appeared on the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) program blog.

Does antimicrobial resistance mean the end of modern medicine as we know it? Not quite yet. However, in a report recently released on global surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that "a post-antibiotic era–in which common infections and minor injuries can kill–is a very real possibility for the 21st century."

 {Photo credit: John Marmion.}A malaria diagnosis and treatment kit is delivered to a gold mining camp in Suriname.Photo credit: John Marmion.

This post originally appeared on the SIAPS blog.

Many countries in Central and South America have made significant progress toward eliminating malaria. Between 2000 and 2012, 13 countries in the Americas saw malaria incidence rates drop by more than 75 percent. Argentina, Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, and Paraguay have all reached the pre-elimination phase, a designation given by the World Health Organization (WHO) when countries meet certain critical steps in eliminating the disease and preventing its reintroduction.

While this progress is encouraging, efforts to eliminate and control other global threats like polio illustrate that the last cases are often the most difficult to address. In the case of malaria, fewer cases bring new challenges in ensuring the supply and proper management of antimalarial medicines.

 {Photo credit: Paula Champagne/MSH.}MSH country representatives, Mr. Bada Pharasi (South Africa), Ziyanda Ngoma (South Africa), Ana Diaz (Angola), Dr. Negussu Mekonnen (Ethiopia), and Percy Ramirez (Angola).Photo credit: Paula Champagne/MSH.

Pablos-Méndez Applauds and Encourages MSH Representatives and Partners at DC Country Health Impact Fair

Representatives from 13 MSH countries—Afghanistan, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda—shared stories and materials about the lives saved and health impact of MSH’s work, in partnership with US Agency for International Development (USAID) and others, at the MSH Country Health Impact Fair at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC, last week. Country ownership and health impact were common themes at the fair.

Ariel Pablos-Méndez (MD, MPH), assistant administrator for global health at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), addressed participants and attendees.

 {Photo credit: © 2011 Arturo Sanabria, Courtesy of Photoshare}A health care provider dispenses TB drugs for Directly Observed Treatment (DOTS) at Tete's Urban Health Center, Mozambique.Photo credit: © 2011 Arturo Sanabria, Courtesy of Photoshare

Successfully combating the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic requires that national TB programs (NTPs) prevent new infections and ensure that current patients are cured. Although the treatment for drug-sensitive TB is very effective, curing the disease requires that patients adhere to a strict daily regimen of multiple pills for six to nine months. Adding to the challenge is the fact that treatment for drug-resistant TB is longer, more toxic, and less effective.

All medicines carry some risk of adverse events, and anti-TB medicines are no exception. In addition to threatening the health of patients, adverse events, if not well managed, may also result in individuals stopping their treatment early. Patients who prematurely discontinue treatment may remain sick, develop resistance to the medicines, and spread TB to others in their community.

To support NTPs and health professionals efforts to meet treatment goals and improve the safety of anti-TB medicines, the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program developed the first guide of its kind on minimizing risks associated with anti-TB medicines.

 {Photo credit: Durmuş Şahin}(left to right) Dr. Raed Arafat, Chair of the Conference, Secretary of State, Ministry of Health of Romania; Dr. Martin van den Boom, TB Program Focal Officer, WHO Regional Office for Europe; Francis (Kofi) Aboagye-Nyame, Director, SIAPS Program; and Dr. Joel Keravec, Head of Operations, Global Drug Facility, Stop TB Partnership, at the First Conference on Pharmaceutical Management for TB and M/XDR-TB for the WHO European Region.Photo credit: Durmuş Şahin

The highest rate of multi-drug resistant (M) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) cases of tuberculosis (TB) is found in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region. The Consolidated Action Plan to Prevent and Combat M/XDR-TB in the WHO European Region specifies that, by the end of 2013, all member states assure provision of an interrupted supply of quality first- and second-line medicines for treatment of all TB and M/XDR-TB patients.

Safe and rational use of these medicines is also a challenge. To deal with these demanding challenges means an increased need to strengthen pharmaceutical management, especially in the areas of second-line TB medicines management, new TB medicines, and novel treatment regimens.

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman.}Photo credit: Warren Zelman.

Azmara Ashenafi, a 35-year-old woman from the Amhara region of Ethiopia, was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) and placed on treatment. She was fortunate. Many people with TB are missed by health systems altogether. But Azmara’a treatment wasn’t helping. Despite taking medicine for months, her symptoms persisted and became more severe.

In many places, her story would have a sad ending—TB is one of the top three leading causes of death for women 15 to 44 in low- and middle-income countries.

But Azmara went to the Muja Health Center—one of over 1,600 supported by USAID's Help Ethiopia Address Low TB Performance (HEAL TB) program, and where MSH has been training health workers to screen patients for multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).

MDR-TB cannot be treated with the two most potent first line anti-TB drugs and infects 6,000 Ethiopians each year. To help curb the spread of the disease, health workers learn how to screen people in close contact with MDR-TB patients. All of Azmara’s family members were tested and both she and her three year old son Feseha were found to have MDR-TB.

"At the Duka" tells the story of a Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services Program (SIAPS) project to increase early detection of tuberculosis in Tanzania.

SIAPS partnered with the Tanzanian National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Program to train drug dispensers on the symptoms of TB, so that they could refer clients with these symptoms to TB diagnostic and treatment centers for follow up.

The video is narrated by David Mabirizi (SIAPS Principal Technical Advisor), and features Gabriel Daniel (SIAPS Principal Technical Advisor), Edmund Rutta (SIAPS Senior Technical Advisor), and Salama Mwatawala (SIAPS Senior Technical Advisor).

Watch video

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