Swaziland: Our Impact

 Victoria Mwanza receiving her certificate from Dr, Kent Brower, Pro-Vice Chancellor.

Victoria Mwanza, 42, is part of the first cohort of pharmacy assistants to graduate from the Southern Africa Nazarene University (SANU) with a Certificate in Pharmacy. This in-country pharmacy training program, established at the request of the Ministry of Health, was launched by SANU in August 2012, with the support of US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded and Management Sciences for Health (MSH)-led Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS).

How do you measure the overall health of an organization? Evaluating a person’s health is relatively easy – doctors around the world agree on the basic concepts of physical health, and measurements and standards have been well established for “ideal” height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and other components of health.

With a population of over a million, landlocked Swaziland faces a shortage of skilled healthcare workers, including pharmacy personnel. There are 64 registered pharmacists, with the majority of them belonging to the private sector as an increasing portion of the population battles several communicable diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and the most prevalent – HIV/AIDS.The lack of pharmacy personnel has led to an increase in the number of facilities that use non-pharmaceutical staff to handle medicines and medical supplies, resulting in inefficient pharmaceutical supply management.

Goodness Dlamini (right), a "mentor mother", outside the Lamvelase clinic in Manzini, Swaziland. {Photo credit: Josh Chuttergoon/MSH.}Photo credit: Josh Chuttergoon/MSH.

"I want to see more women living like me, moving away from being sickly to living a healthy, productive life."This is what keeps Goodness Dlamini going as a "mentor mother." Goodness, 39-years old, supports and educates pregnant women and mothers on prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) at Lamvelase Clinic in Manzini, the largest city in Swaziland.

Dr. Catherine Mundy.Dr. Catherine Mundy.

Laboratory services are a necessary but sometimes neglected element of a strong health system. From disease control and surveillance to patient diagnosis and care, laboratories are central to public health. Where laboratory services, policies or strategy are lacking, a comprehensive systems approach can improve a nation's infrastructure and capacity to manage and finance laboratory systems.MSH spoke with Dr.

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