SPS Afghanistan Leader with Associate: A Retrospective Report

  • Rebecca J. Bennett

Building and strengthening health systems are difficult and take time. The SPS Leader with Associate (LWA) built on the work of its predecessors and expanded the understanding of pharmaceutical management from simply supply (“medicine on the shelf”) to that of a broad and critical discipline that includes: pharmaceutical policy, law, and regulation; selection; procurement; distribution; use; and management support. The SPS LWA also provided a foundation of pharmaceutical system strengthening that continues under the SPS Associate Award, work that would not have been possible without SPS LWA’s achievements. SPS LWA produced many practical tools and publications and collaborated with a wide range of public- and private-sector organizations during the program. By strengthening Afghanistan’s pharmaceutical system, SPS LWA helped to strengthen Afghanistan’s entire health system. This report presents the program’s achievements in relation to the components of WHO’s “medical products, vaccines, and technologies” building block and to health systems strengthening (HSS), in general. This report also highlights this important aspect of USAID’s investment in HSS in Afghanistan.