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The spread of COVID-19 has disrupted lives, communities, and economies worldwide.

In recent years, significant donor and global TB community support has led to encouraging developments, giving low- and middle-income countries better diagnostic, prevention, and treatment tools to increase case detection and improve outcomes.

Funded by USAID and led by Management Sciences for Health and its consortium of partners, the goal of the five-year Medicines, Technologies, and Pharmaceutical Services (MTaPS) program (2018–2023) is to help low- and middle- income countries strengthen their pharmaceutical systems to ensure sustainable access to and appropriate use of safe, effective, quality-assured, and affordable ess

USAID MTaPS applies systems-based approaches using proven tools, interventions, and quality improvement methodologies to strengthen in-country capacity and enhance patient-centered pharmaceutical care. In doing so, MTaPS embeds the culture of quality of care emphasized by the Sustainable Development Goals, the World Health Organization, and other global and national bodies.

Attaining the goals of universal health coverage requires clear policies, robust legislation, and sound management practices supported by good governance. This premise is relevant to pharmaceutical systems, which are particularly vulnerable to corruption due to the economic value of medicines and the multiplicity of stakeholders.

Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals’ maternal, newborn, and child mortality targets will require a systems-strengthening approach; however, a large proportion of deaths could be avoided if women and children had access to quality medicines and supplies and skilled health care providers.

USAID supports strategies to improve pharmaceutical-sector financing, including resource mobilization, allocation, and use.

WHO’s Global Technical Strategy (GTS) for Malaria 2016–2030 aims to reduce global malaria incidence and deaths by at least 90% by 2030. To achieve these targets, high malaria burden countries need strong national pharmaceutical systems that can support the effective implementation of key malaria interventions.

USAID MTaPS supports the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), whose purpose is to help build countries’ capacity to protect themselves from infectious disease threats and to raise global health security as a national and worldwide priority. The GHSA has 11 action packages, including one to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

An AIDS-free world requires resilient and sustainable pharmaceutical systems that ensure universal access to the best available diagnostic, preventive, and treatment tools.

Ensuring the uninterrupted availability of quality-assured medicines and health technologies from the manufacturer to end users is the ultimate goal of pharmaceutical supply chain systems. However, strategies to strengthen key supply chain components are inadequate in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and systems cannot effectively manage local and global health program demands.

Weaknesses in pharmaceutical regulatory systems contribute to limited access to quality-assured, safe, and efficacious life-saving essential medicines, including those for malaria; HIV/AIDS; and reproductive, maternal, and childhood diseases, and to the disruption of health service delivery, thereby preventing achievement of better health outcomes.

For decades, the lead of the USAID Medicines, Technologies, and Pharmaceutical Services (MTaPS) Program consortium, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), has supported governments around the world in building resilient health systems that have the sustainable capability to take coordinated, measurable actions to prevent epidemics, detect biological threats early, and respond rapidly to disease out

Pharmaceutical systems and the health system in general in many low- and middle-income countries suffer from poor data availability and accessibility. Typically, data are manually collected at service delivery points and then sent to the district, regional, or Ministry level for processing and storage with the hope that they will be captured electronically and analyzed.

Effective pharmacy services improve patient outcomes and satisfaction by ensuring that life-saving products are available and providing care that helps patients use products safely and appropriately.

Following USAID’s Journey to Self-Reliance framework and the agency’s health system and disease-specific strategies, MTaPS strengthens country human resources and institutions to: develop sustainable, high-impact country capacity for transparent, accountable pharmaceutical systems-related law, policy, planning, leadership, and management; improve countries’ capacity to collect, a

Strengthening a country’s capacity to lead its own development is a cornerstone of the United States Government’s foreign assistance efforts. As a prerequisite to receiving direct funding assistance, donors, such as USAID, must assess an organization’s management and systems readiness for the responsible stewardship of funds.

In February 2019, the Bangladesh National Tuberculosis Program and its implementing partners approved the Action Plan for Strategic Roadmap for Zero TB Cities Bangladesh (ZTBCB), which identifies key actions to be taken between 2019 and 2020 for the Government of Bangladesh to achieve its target of halving the urban TB incidence rate by 2025.

Please download to read the USAID Safe, Affordable, and Effective Medicines for Ukrainians (SAFEMed) Activity in Ukraine News Digest, August 2020 edition. 

The Government of Tanzania, through its Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC) and President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government, understands the value of using data and strategic information to achieve effective health service delivery planning and decision making. Despite this, there is limited data use within the health sy

Many low-income and middle-income countries lack the capacity to effectively and efficiently regulate medical products in their countries. To support countries in strengthening their capacity, WHO has developed the Global Benchmarking Tool (GBT) as the global standard for objectively assessing regulatory capacity for medicines and vaccines. The GBT is a game changer because it is the first globally accepted tool for assessing and strengthening national regulatory authorities. The inclusion of an institutional development plan in the GBT methodology provides context-specific actionable steps countries can take to advance their system’s functionality and maturity. The GBT facilitates coordination and improves the effectiveness of regulatory strengthening efforts. The tool also facilitates regulatory reliance and harmonisation, which helps to improve timely access to quality-assured medicines, and creates incentives for trade, particularly in countries and regions with a strong pharmaceutical manufacturing base. 

AbstractBackgroundTo strengthen appropriate medicine use (AMU) including the prescribing and dispensing quality at public sector health facilities in Uganda, the Ministry of Health introduced a multipronged approach known as the Supervision, Performance Assessment, and Recognition Strategy (SPARS).

This study was undertaken to explore childhood malnutrition problems that are associated to household wealth-related and mother’s educational attainment in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Secondary data from birth histories in 35 SSA countries was used. The Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data of 384,747 births between 2008 and 2017 in 35 countries was analyzed. Based on the results, Burundi (54.6%) and Madagascar (48.4%) accounted for the highest prevalence of stunted children. Underweight children were 32.5% in Chad and 35.5% in Niger. Nigeria (16.6%) and Benin (16.4%) had the highest burdens of wasted children. The test for differences between children from urban vs. rural was significant in stunted, underweight, overweight, and anemia for household wealth status. Also, the difference in prevalence between children from urban vs. rural was significant in stunted, underweight, and wasted for mother’s educational attainment. Reduction in malnutrition could be achieved by socioeconomic improvement that is sustained and shared in equity and equality among the populace. Interventions which target improvement in food availability can also help to achieve reduction in hunger including communities where poverty is prevalent.

It has been widely confirmed that by implementing appropriate evidence-based practices, ANC can save lives. The new guidelines set by the World Health Organization 2016 recommended increasing contacts with health providers from four to eight contacts. The present study aims to determine the frequency, determinants, and socioeconomic inequalities of ANC utilization based on the eight or more contacts in Benin. This will provide information for policy makers to improve ANC utilization. We used population-based cross-sectional data from Benin Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS)—2017–2018. The outcome variable considered for this study was coverage of ≥ 8 ANC contacts. About 1094 women of reproductive age who became pregnant after the new guideline of ≥ 8 ANC contacts was endorsed were included in this study. The coverage of ≥ 8 ANC contacts was 8.0%; 95%CI 6.5%, 9.7%. Women’s enlightenment, early ANC initiation, and socioeconomic inequalities determined the coverage of ≥ 8 ANC contacts. The findings bring to light the need to enhance women’s enlightenment through formal education, exposure to mass media, and other channels of behavior change communication. Health care programs which encourage early antenatal care initiation should be designed or strengthened to enhance the coverage of ANC contacts in Benin.

Skin-to-skin contact (SSC) between mother and the newborn brings many benefits including its potential to promote the survival of the newborn. Nevertheless, it is a practice that is underutilized in many resource-constrained settings including The Gambia where a high rate of maternal and child mortality has been reported. In this study, we examined the prevalence and determinants of mother and newborn SSC in The Gambia. We used secondary data from The Gambia Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS)—2018. Data from 9205 women between 15-49 years who gave birth within 5 years of the survey was extracted for the analysis. The results of this study showed that the national prevalence of mother and newborn SSC was 35.7%. Based on results from the logit model, normal weight (at least 2.5 kg) children were 1.37 times as likely to have mother and newborn SSC, compared with the low birthweight (< 2.5 kg) children (OR = 1.37; 95% CI: 1.05, 1.78). In addition, there was 38% increase in the odds of rural women who reported mother and newborn SSC, compared with urban women (OR = 1.38; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.79). Women who delivered at health facility were 3.35 times as likely to have mother and newborn SSC, compared with women who delivered at home (OR = 3.35; 95% CI: 2.37, 4.75). Furthermore, women who initiated antenatal care (ANC) after the first trimester had 21% reduction in the odds of mother and newborn SSC, compared with women who initiated ANC within the first trimester. There is a need to promote institutional based delivery using skilled birth attendance, promote early ANC initiation and healthy fetal growth.

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