Chantal, an HIV-positive woman, waits for her monthly supply of antiretroviral medication at the Hôpital Immaculée Conception in Haiti.Photo credit: Jean Jacques Augustin, SCMSAs the warm Haitian sun comes up, Chantal leaves her four children behind to get her HIV treatment, traveling for three hours in the back of a crowded jeep.
She bumps over unpaved roads to her monthly visit for antiretrovirals, one that she has been doing routinely for several years to keep her disease at bay.
Her children don’t know that she is HIV positive, and she doesn’t want to tell them. She makes this long trip over rough and ragged terrain to preserve her privacy and escape the possibility of stigma, still prevalent in Haitian society.
Chryste D. Best recently was named one of the top 300 women in global Health. Best establishes the processes, procedures, and controls to ensure that all products procured and supplied by the Supply Chain Management System (SCMS) meet appropriate quality standards.
We spoke with MSH’s Chryste D. Best, BS, product quality assurance manager, The Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM), about her selection as one of the top 300 women leaders in global health by the Global Health Programme of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Best provides innovative quality assurance oversight for the global procurement of medicines and commodities by MSH and partners.
The Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM), an organization formed through a partnership between Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and John Snow Research & Training Institute, Inc., (JSI R&T), uses an innovative consortium model that draws on the capabilities and experience of 13 internationally-renowned organizations. PFSCM harnesses this expertise to strengthen, develop and manage secure, reliable, cost-effective and sustainable supply chains to meet the needs of health care and other public services. Since 2009, PFSCM has leveraged this unique expertise to manage the Pooled Procurement Mechanism (PPM), previously known as Voluntary Pooled Procurement (VPP).
Funded by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (The Global Fund), PPM procures and delivers about $46.6 million in life-saving health care products monthly, including HIV and malaria medicines, test kits, and related commodities. As a managing partner in PPM, MSH has played a key role in the mechanism’s overall management and strategy.
My name is Tiglu. I was born and raised in Bahir Dar. When I first learned that I am living with the [HIV] virus, my mind went blank. I was depressed. After that, I started taking antiretroviral treatment. Then they found TB in me...
Meet Tiglu, a living example of how partnering for stronger health systems saves lives. In Ethiopia, about 790,000 people are living with HIV. Tiglu, a patient at the Bahir Dar Health Center in the Amhara Region of north-western Ethiopia, discovered he is HIV positive three years ago, and started on antiretroviral treatment (ART). He learned later he also has tuberculosis (TB).
“If it wasn't for the trainings given by MSH, patients like Tiglu wouldn't have received proper TB treatment,” said Sister Tiringo Zeleke, a nurse at Bahir Dar Health Center.
“John” is a healthy 2-year-old, thanks to HIV medication for his mother.Photo credit: Jimmy Felix/SCMS in Haiti.
SCMS and MSH at the forefront of efforts to remove supply chain barriers to the scale up of HIV/AIDS treatment programs
For many of us in the developed world, it is easy to overlook the critical role that well-functioning supply chains play in effective healthcare. When supply chains are operating as they should, we take for granted that the medicines we need will be in stock and available. Yet throughout the developing world, most patients’ access to critical health commodities is much more tenuous; linking medicines to the health professionals that provide treatment and the people who receive care remains a central challenge facing national health systems.
Ensuring that supply chains are sustainable and can tap into high-quality, low-cost medicines, presents an even greater challenge.
The prospect that we may see the end of AIDS in our lifetime has never been greater. Over the last decade, the global HIV & AIDS community has achieved stunning successes, including a steady decrease in new HIV cases, a massive scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART), and proof that treatment is prevention. As we begin the XIX International AIDS Conference, we are also excited by new scientific advances in prevention and treatment, such as Option B+ for prevention of maternal-to-child transmission (PMTCT). As new possibilities develop, we must also build on the successes of the last decade. Only by "turning the tide together" through the simultaneous pursuit of new possibilities, leveraging of proven interventions for scale and sustainability, and strengthening of health systems overall, can we hope to reach our goal of ending the HIV & AIDS epidemic.