Pharmaceutical Management: Our Impact

 {Photo credit: Wezi Tjaronda (MSH/SIAPS Namibia)}Pharmacist in charge of the Facility Electronic Stock Card (FESC) at Oshakati Hospital, Tesema Zelalem (seated) shows the US Ambassador to Namibia, Thomas Daughton (right) and Senior Pharmacist of the hospital, Mesele Walellign a print out of available medicines in the pharmacy, from the FESC computer on July 13, 2017.Photo credit: Wezi Tjaronda (MSH/SIAPS Namibia)

The U.S. Ambassador to Namibia, H.E. Thomas Daughton, visited a hospital and clinic in the Oshana region of Namibia last week to unveil a new electronic stock card, an innovation that has greatly improved service delivery in the country.

 {Photo credit: SIAPS Namibia}ART Pharmacy in Oshikuku District Hospital, Omusati Region, Namibia.Photo credit: SIAPS Namibia

In a major advance against the spread of HIV, Namibia has approved the use of Truvada to prevent HIV infection.

What is the evidence base for strengthening and sustaining responsive and resilient pharmaceutical systems? The USAID-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program, led by MSH, is pleased to issue an open and global call for case studies of sustained improvements in pharmaceutical systems in low-and middle-income countries. The case studies should demonstrate how pharmaceutical systems strengthening strategies and actions have improved access to and appropriate use of pharmaceutical prodcucts and services for better health outcomes. 

{Photo Credit: Michael Paydos/MSH}Photo Credit: Michael Paydos/MSH

Tuberculosis is one of the top causes of death globally. In many of the countries most affected by this disease, drug sellers—also known as private pharmacies—are the first point of contact for people seeking health care. By some estimates, about 50 percent of TB patients’ first contact with the health system is from a private pharmacy.

 {Photo Credit: Abraham Ayuen/MSH}Yohana sits with his mother near a pharmacy at Al Sabah Children's Hospital in Juba, South Sudan.Photo Credit: Abraham Ayuen/MSH

Six-year-old Yohana Peter clutched a bottle of mango juice as he waited for his medication outside a pharmacy at Al Sabah Children's Hospital in Juba, South Sudan. Seated next to his mother on a metal bench, Yohana looked anxious. "He had fever and stomach pain. I gave him some medicines at home, but his condition continued to worsen, so I brought him to the hospital to be seen by a doctor," said Asunta Wasuk, Yohana's mother.

 {Photo Credit: Mohammad Hossain/MSH}Tama with her daughter Sangita, who received treatment for potentially fatal, pneumonia-related complications.Photo Credit: Mohammad Hossain/MSH

Tama, a resident of Parokhali village in the Khulna district of Bangladesh, was devastated when her 15-day-old daughter was diagnosed with pneumonia-related complications and needed treatment, including immediate oxygen support. Following instructions from the local doctor, she and her husband rushed their newborn to Khulna Shishu Hospital, situated eight kilometers from her village. Thanks to the oxygen supply system that had been recently installed at the hospital, baby Sangita received a steady flow of medical oxygen and recovered.

 {Photo Credit: SIAPS Namibia} Senior Pharmacist Assistant George Lukonga dispenses ARVs using the EDT at Katima Mulilo HospitalPhoto Credit: SIAPS Namibia

George Lukonga, the senior pharmacist assistant at the Katima Mulilo Hospital in the Zambezi region of Namibia, is accustomed to dealing with 200 to 300 patients on antiretroviral therapy every day. The Zambezi region has an HIV prevalence rate of 23.7 percent. Dispensing antiretrovirals to the hundreds of patients who visit the pharmacy daily was a daunting task, so Lukonga's colleagues were trained to use the electronic dispensing tool, better known as EDT.

 {Photo Credit: Tsion Issayas/MSH}Aster Ammanuel (second from right) has more time to spend with her family now that the time needed for her visits to the hospital has decreased.Photo Credit: Tsion Issayas/MSH

Aster Amanuel Desalegn lives in Debre Markos, 190 miles from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. She is a 70-year-old mother of four and grandmother of two. Her granddaughters, Emuye, 6, and Blen, 8, live with her. On a trip back from visiting family in Addis Ababa 20 years ago, Desalegn fell ill and went to the nearest health center for help. Doctors said her blood sugar level was critically high and she needed to start treatment right away. For the past 12 years, Desalegn has been taking insulin.

 {Photo Credit: Ruhengeri Hospital staff}Patients waiting at Ruhengeri Hospital Internal Medicine Ward.Photo Credit: Ruhengeri Hospital staff

When Ruhengeri Hospital in northern Rwanda upgraded from a district to a referral hospital in 2014, it began receiving cases from 15 health centers in its own district and from five hospitals in surrounding districts. In 2015 alone, the hospital experienced close to 6,000 monthly outpatient visits, about 25 percent above previous levels and now among the highest in the entire country. Such numbers proved how important the status upgrade had been in relation to local health needs, but the facility struggled to consistently meet those needs.

 {<a href="http://siapsprogram.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Guatemala_CV_Afiche_FINAL_R1.pdf">USAID SIAPS</a>}Identifying, Treating, and Preventing Malaria: a poster for community volunteersUSAID SIAPS

In Guatemala, a network of community volunteers who diagnose and treat malaria in their communities are mainstays of the Ministry of Health’s malaria strategy to ensure timely access to appropriate treatment, a key strategy to eliminate malaria. However, an assessment identified weaknesses in the volunteers’ management of antimalarials and diagnostic supplies.

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