Pharmaceutical Management: Our Impact

 {Photo credit: MSH.}Securing Ugandans' Right to Essential Medicines (Uganda SURE) Chief of Party Birna Trap.Photo credit: MSH.

Securing Ugandans' Right to Essential Medicines (Uganda SURE), a five-year project that began in 2009, expands access to essential medicines and health commodities through reforming and harmonizing the national supply system and building local capacity to manage that system. MSH spoke with Chief of Party Birna Trap about how the USAID-funded program, led by MSH, is addressing pharmaceutical challenges in Uganda. What was the pharmaceutical supply situation in Uganda before SURE began? And what is the situation today?

A Malawian woman receives a Depo-Provera injection through the CFPHS project. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

Since 2007, the USAID-funded Community-based Family Planning and HIV & AIDS Services (CFPHS) project has partnered with the ministry of health and local organizations in Malawi to expand access to integrated family planning and HIV & AIDS services in rural areas through a network of community health workers.The CFPHS project, led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), has had marked success, increasing contraceptive use from 20,000 to 39,000 couples in two years.A 2004 health survey in Malawi showed that the contraceptive method of choice for about 60 percent of married women was the

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) has been awarded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) a five-year $197.9 million Cooperative Agreement, Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program, which is a follow-on to the current Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) Program.The SIAPS Program will build on SPS’ achievements and will work to assure the availability of quality pharmaceutical products and effective pharmaceutical services to achieve desired health outcomes.

(New York) Management Sciences for Health (MSH) today announced its $15-million Commitment to Action at the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, pledging to scale up sustainable accredited drug seller programs in five African nations by 2015 and bring quality essential medicines to 70 million people in rural communities. The program will also positively impact the lives of thousands of female workers—many of the drug shop dispensers (up to 90 percent in some areas) are women—through creation of new business and employment opportunities.

In late 2009, the USAID-funded and MSH-implemented program Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) conducted an assessment on the availability and use of emergency obstetric medicines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). SPS found that the national guidelines for informing health care providers of the most current, approved medicines and procedures—Standard Treatment Guidelines (STGs)—were out of date, particularly for preventing and treating complications during pregnancy.

Afghanistan. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

In a country the size of Texas with 80 percent of its 25 million people living in underdeveloped rural areas, immunizing every child against common illnesses is no small challenge. BASICS Afghanistan, funded by USAID and led by MSH, is working with the Afghan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and UNICEF to improve low vaccination rates in Afghanistan by engaging communities in identifying their local needs and tailoring vaccination campaigns accordingly.

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) has been awarded a three-year, $8.6 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue and expand its efforts to develop sustainable solutions enabling private drug sellers, many of them women, to help more people access essential medicines in Africa.

An uninterrupted and reliable supply of essential medicines including antiretrovirals (ARVs) remains crucial to the optimum management of HIV infection and other chronic diseases. The availability of accurate information on current stocks enables the estimation of future requirements.

The resistance of microorganisms to medicines used to treat infections caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses – otherwise known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR) – has been on the rise for decades. More specifically, the resistance to tuberculosis (TB) medicines has become a severe problem leading to outbreaks of extremely drug-resistant TB or XDR-TB. Further compounding this problem is the lack of resources and local capacity that exists to address AMR issues throughout the health systems.

In Tanzania, Accredited Drug Dispensing Outlets (ADDO), private drug dispensers, are increasing access to quality pharmaceutical products and services in under-served, often rural areas of Tanzania through the use of regulation, training, and supervision. The program, through support from the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), focuses on improving training and dispensing practices at retail outlets and improving regulatory enforcement to assure product quality.

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