accreditation

In the early 2000s, Rwanda implemented a performance-based financing (PBF) system to improve quality and increase the quantity of care delivered at its public hospitals. PBF evaluations identified quality gaps that prompted a movement to pursue an accreditation process for public hospitals. Since it was prohibitively costly to implement an accreditation program overseen by an external entity to all of Rwanda’s public hospitals, the Ministry of Health developed a set of standards for a national 3-Level accreditation program. In 2012, Rwanda launched the first phase of the national accreditation system at five public hospitals. The program was then expected to expand across the remainder of the public hospitals throughout the country. Out of Rwanda’s 43 public hospitals, a total of 24 hospitals have achieved Level 1 status of the accreditation process and 4 have achieved Level 2 status of the accreditation process. Linking the program to the country’s existing PBF program increased compliance and motivation for participation, especially for those who were unfamiliar with accreditation principles. Furthermore, identifying dedicated quality improvement officers at each hospital has been important for improving engagement in the program. Lastly, to improve upon this process, there are ongoing efforts to develop a non-governmental accreditation entity to oversee this process for Rwanda’s health system moving forward.

In 2003, we worked with Tanzania’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to develop a public-private partnership based on a holistic approach that builds the capacity of owners, dispensers, and institutions that regulate, own, or work in retail drug shops. For shop owners and dispensers, this was achieved by combining training, business incentives, supervision, and regulatory enforcement with efforts to increase client demand for and expectations of quality products and services. The accredited drug dispensing outlet (ADDO) program has proven to be scalable, sustainable, and transferable: Tanzania has rolled out the program nationwide; the ADDO program has been institutionalized as part of the country’s health system; shops are profitable and meeting consumer demands; and the ADDO model has been adapted and implemented in Uganda and Liberia.

The Problem: In developing countries, the most accessible source of treatment for common conditions is often an informal drug shop, where drug sellers are untrained and operations are unmonitored.

In Tanzania, many people seek malaria treatment from retail drug sellers. The National Malaria Control Program identified the accredited drug dispensing outlet (ADDO) program as a private sector mechanism to supplement the distribution of subsidized artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) from public facilities and increase access to the first-line antimalarial in rural and underserved areas. The ADDO program strengthens private sector pharmaceutical services by improving regulatory and supervisory support, dispenser training, and record keeping practices. The government's pilot program made subsidized ACTs available through ADDOs in 10 districts in the Morogoro and Ruvuma regions, covering about 2.9 million people. As part of the evaluation, 448 ADDO dispensers brought their records to central locations for analysis, representing nearly 70% of ADDOs operating in the two regions. ADDO drug register data were available from July 2007-June 2008 for Morogoro and from July 2007-September 2008 for Ruvuma. During the pilot, over 300,000 people received treatment for malaria at the 448 ADDOs. The percentage of ADDOs that dispensed at least one course of ACT rose from 26.2% during July-September 2007 to 72.6% during April-June 2008. The number of malaria patients treated with ACTs gradually increased, while the use of non-ACT antimalarials declined; ACTs went from 3% of all antimalarials sold in July 2007 to 26% in June 2008.

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