Beth Yeager

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

MSH's May 2015 newsletter highlights the global health impact of pharmaceutical management: Ensuring access to affordable, quality medicines saves lives (subscribe).

Introduction

by Jonathan D. Quick, MD, MPH

Health care is largely dependent upon essential medicines for preventing infection, reducing pain, and treating illness. The development of effective medicines, however, is only the beginning.

Quality care means getting the right medicine, in the right dose, at an affordable price, for all the people who need it.

Accessible, affordable, and properly used medicines save lives. Major childhood killers like diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, and even HIV, are preventable or treatable with essential medicines. But for many children, where they live means the difference between life and death: some 30,000 children in developing countries die every year from diseases treatable with basic essential medicines.

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

Nearly three years ago, I blogged about a systems approach to improving access for a Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) series on maternal health commodities:

Increasing access to essential medicines and supplies for maternal health requires a systems approach that includes: improving governance of pharmaceutical systems, strengthening supply chain management, increasing the availability of information for decision-making, developing appropriate financing strategies and promoting rational use of medicines and supplies.

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

MSH's Principal Technical Advisor for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH) ">Beth Yeager has been named Chair of the Maternal Health Caucus of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition. The Coalition, a prestigious global organization with members from the public, private, and non-governmental sectors, works to ensure access to affordable, high quality reproductive health supplies worldwide. The Maternal Health Caucus serves as a forum for addressing the challenges of access to reproductive health commodities, particularly magnesium sulfate, misoprostol, and oxytocin.

{Photo credit: Rui Pires, Ghana}Photo credit: Rui Pires, Ghana

MSH reconfirmed its commitment to ending childhood deaths due to diarrhea and pneumonia by renewing its endorsement of the Declaration on Scaling Up Treatment of Diarrhea and Pneumonia (PDF).

MSH has a long history of acting on two of the areas specifically outlined in the declaration, namely promoting "access to affordable, high-quality, over-the-counter ORS and zinc products and/or access to and rational use of amoxicillin in both public and private sectors" and supporting "sustained demand creation to increase awareness of use for diarrhea and/or pneumonia treatments, including teaching caregivers when and where to seek treatment and improving knowledge and skills of health providers to promote and deliver appropriate treatment and care."

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