Medicines Making a Difference in DRC

Medicines Making a Difference in DRC

Dr. Metangmo talking with DRC Ministry of Health

On June 17, 2010, I was honored to attend and speak at a ceremony where Management Sciences for Health officially handed over 35 tons of life saving essential drugs to the Republic of Congo (DRC) in Kinshasa. The ceremony was chaired by Dr. Victor Makwenge Kaput, the DRC’s Minister of Health.  These drugs represent the first half of an initial order of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies worth more than $ 1.5 million, and were made available through funding from USAID/DRC. It was great to see this support for DRC’s government as they work toward strengthening DRC’s overall health system and providing quality primary health care (PHC) services in the two provinces of Kassai Occidental and Oriental.  Through MSH’s Leadership, Management and Sustainability (LMS) Program, supported by USAID, this project covers 23 health zones, 428 health facilities and is serving a population of 3 million people.

In my welcome speech, I commended the government of the DRC for its commitment to improving the health and lives of its most vulnerable people in a challenging post conflict context. They have also provided unwavering support of LMS work with the Ministry of Health at zonal and health center levels to ensure a fully functional health system with provision of quality PHC services.

In his remarks, Dr. Kaput noted his country’s appreciation for the support from USAID, MSH and other partners in the government’s efforts to rebuild its public health system.  He acknowledged the importance and uniqueness of the LMS program’s holistic approach as it combines improving the quality of care and services with increasing access and ensuring sustainability.

Dr. Kaput also noted the importance of essential drug and medical equipment in the DRC’s strategy for decentralized health system strengthening.  This strategy focuses on health zones and health facilities as focal points for our attention.  The medicines provided to the DRC will build upon LMS work in key areas including maternal and child health, family planning, malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS management.

Read local press coverage from the event. (Note - article is in French)

Dr. Pierre Marie Metangmo is a Senior Technical Advisor on the LMS Project.