Pharmaceutical Management: Our Impact

 {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.

{Photo: MSH staff}Photo: MSH staff

For the first time in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 13 life-saving health commodities for mothers and children have been included in the National Health Development Plan (NHDP). These medicines are recommended by the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children (UNCoLSC).

{Photo Credit: MSH Staff}Photo Credit: MSH Staff

Management Sciences for Health has been working closely in collaboration with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) on the introduction of the new dispersible pediatric fixed-dose combination. Through MSH’s projects across identified high-burden countries, we have been providing assistance on updating treatment guidelines and essential medicines lists, registration of the reformulated product, financing and reprogramming grants, quantification, and training healthcare providers on the medicine and its use. 

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

Kwesi Eghan Kwesi Eghan, MSC, MBA, BPHARM, is portfolio manager for the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) program in South Sudan and Afghanistan. A pharmacist by training, Eghan co-authored MSH’s recently published Management of Medicines Benefit Programs in Low-and Middle-Income Settings, which is designed as a manual for countries to implement health benefit packages that reduce out-of-pocket expenses for medicines in the context of universal health coverage (UHC).

A new SIAPS tool for health commodities management in Mali

In Mali, major weaknesses in the pharmaceutical sector include lack of availability of regular, reliable pharmaceutical management information for decision-making and an inadequate and fragmented logistics system that fails to take the community level into account when planning for inventory management. As a result, stock-outs of lifesaving commodities are frequent at all health service delivery points.

 {Photo credit: SIAPS Mozambique}Ministry of Health staff in Mozambique learn how to use Pharmadex for medicines registration management.Photo credit: SIAPS Mozambique

This story originally appeared on the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) program website. SIAPS is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH).

{Photo credit: Mark Tuschman}Photo credit: Mark Tuschman

HIV testing and counseling is central to HIV and AIDS prevention and control as well as improving the quality of patients’ lives. Individuals learn their HIV status and receive personalized risk-reduction counseling to help prevent acquiring or further transmitting of HIV while those found positive are enrolled for support, care, and treatment. Until 2014, only 46 percent of inpatients at Msambweni Sub-County Hospital in Kwale County were tested for HIV. This changed in 2015 when a team from the hospital set out to increase the number of inpatients tested for HIV.

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