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The demand for COVID-19 diagnostics has exploded with the global impact of the pandemic, though this demand for diagnostics, reagents, and consumables for COVID-19 is causing shortages of commodities worldwide.

In a push to end the COVID-19 pandemic, the COVAX initiative, led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and WHO, is accelerating the process for rapid and equitable access to vaccines in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). With several clinical trials completed and others under way, the first supply of the COVID-19 vaccine was available at the end of 2020.

Please download to read the USAID Safe, Affordable, and Effective Medicines for Ukrainians (SAFEMed) Activity in Ukraine News Digest, January 2021 edition.

CORE Plus training course conducted for Syrian NGOs in Turkey, 2017. Photo Credit: Steven Collins/MSHPURPOSETo achieve universal health coverage it is essential to know the cost of services so that sufficient resources can be provided for good quality of care.

Tuberculosis (TB) patients face many psychological, social and economic problems that complicate treatment and care.

The Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) Cost Effectiveness Analysis Tool is a simple, user-friendly, generic tool that is allows countries to compare the cost-effectiveness of different MDR-TB diagnoses and treatment methods. The tool builds on previous studies about MDR-TB control cost-effectiveness and WHO guidelines on TB control costs and cost-effectiveness.

Multi-Drug Resistant TB is a major problem in many countries. Cases can be difficult to find and hard and expensive to treat. This tool provides a simple way for managers to compare the cost-effectiveness of different diagnostic and treatment strategies (e.g.

Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) TB patients incur significant costs for seeking and undergoing treatment.

HOSPICAL: A Tool for Allocating Hospital Costs can help improve a hospital’s performance and enhance its financial sustainability. Managers who use this practical tool will find it a tremendous aid in analyzing current costs and revenues, comparing efficiency, and forecasting what those figures would be if hospital services are expanded or modified.

TB is a major problem in many countries and consumes significant external and domestic resources.The TB Service Delivery Costing Tool was developed to help TB Program Managers have a better understanding of the current and future cost of TB programs to help identify where greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness can be achieved and to help advocate for the provision of adequate funding.  It

Tuberculosis is a major cause of adult deaths and places a huge social and financial burden on the people who have the disease, as well as on their families and communities.

PurposeThe purpose of the framework is to provide a structure for developing an integrated plan and budget.DescriptionThe Planning, Costing and Budgeting (PCB) Framework is an Excel spreadsheet workbook designed to allow users to clearly identify the linkages between all elements of a plan – the activities, strategies, objectives and goals, and the budget that would be required to achieve th

PurposeThe purpose of the Community Health Services Costing Tool is to help managers and planners estimate the costs of providing health services at the community level. It can be used for individual community services, packages of services, or for all community services.

PurposeThe results and analysis will provide evidence-based data for implementing, scaling-up, and maintaining iCCM activities that will be invaluable for successful funding advocacy, for conducting feasibility/sustainability studies, for assessment of cost-effectiveness, and for planning financing strategies and mechanisms.DescriptionDiarrhea, malaria and pneumonia are leading causes of child mor

PurposeThe Performance-Based Financing Dashboard is an effective and user-friendly Excel-based tool that program managers can use to improve oversight and performance of grants and contracts.

MSH authors have published a number of journal articles describing the accredited drug seller implementation experience and lessons learned in Tanzania—home of the flagship ADDO program. A new compendium reviews highlights ranging from robust multi-method quantitative to informative qualitative research. 

The intermittent administration of seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) is recommended to prevent malaria among children aged 3–59 months in areas of the Sahel subregion in Africa. However, the cost-effectiveness and cost savings of SMC have not previously been evaluated in large-scale studies. We did a cost-effectiveness and cost-savings analysis of a large-scale, multi-country SMC campaign with sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine plus amodiaquine for children younger than 5 years in seven countries in the Sahel subregion (Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and The Gambia) in 2016. The total cost of SMC for all seven countries was $22·8 million, and the weighted average economic cost of administering four monthly SMC cycles was $3·63 per child (ranging from $2·71 in Niger to $8·20 in The Gambia). Based on 80% modelled effectiveness of SMC, the incremental economic cost per malaria case averted ranged from $2·91 in Niger to $30·73 in The Gambia. The estimated total economic cost savings to the health systems in all seven countries were US$66·0 million and the total net economic cost savings were US$43·2 million. Our interpretation is that SMC is a low-cost and highly cost-effective intervention that contributes to substantial cost savings by reducing malaria diagnostic and treatment costs among children.

Well-functioning national regulatory authorities (NRAs) ensure access to safe, effective, quality-assured, and affordable medical products. However, the benefits of their work are often unseen and difficult to attribute, thereby making NRAs undervalued and under-resourced, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This paper offers three key arguments NRAs and other stakeholders can use to advocate for greater investment in regulatory systems strengthening—medical products regulation effectively safeguards public health; effective regulation improves health system’s efficiency by increasing access to affordable medical products, contributing to universal health coverage; and robust regulation strengthens local pharmaceutical manufacturing and bolsters pharmaceutical trade. NRAs’ critical role in health systems is indisputable, yet they need to better promote their value to receive the requisite resources to function effectively.

To strengthen medicines management capacity, including supply chain management, at public sector health facilities in Uganda, the Ministry of Health introduced a multipronged supervision, performance assessment, and recognition strategy (SPARS). The aim of this study was to assess the impact of SPARS on improving supply chain management. A series of four papers on SPARS described the SPARS concept, its impact on overall and domain practices and appropriate medicines use, and now in the fourth paper describing the effect on supply chain management. The multipronged SPARS approach was effective in building supply chain management capacity in lower-level health care facilities with statistically significant improvements in supply chain management overall and in almost all stock and storage management and ordering and reporting measures after one year of implementation. We recommend broad dissemination of the SPARS approach as an effective strategy to strengthen supply chain management in low-income countries.

As many low- and middle-income countries launch prepayment schemes to achieve universal health coverage, few are covering products from retail drug outlets (pharmacies and drug shops). This case study aims to characterize barriers and facilitators related to incorporating retail drug outlets into national prepayment schemes based on the experience of the Tanzanian National Health Insurance Fund’s (NHIF) certification of pharmacies and accredited drug dispensing outlets. We reviewed government documents and interviewed 26 key informants including retail outlet owners and dispensers and central and district government authorities representing eight districts overall. Important enablers for NHIF/retail outlet engagement include widespread awareness of NHIF in the community, NHIF’s straightforward certification process, and their reimbursement speed. All of the retail respondents felt that NHIF helps their business and their clients to some degree. As for barriers, retailers thought that NHIF needed to provide more information to them and to its members, particularly regarding coverage changes. Some retailers and government officials thought that the product reimbursement prices were below market and not adjusted often enough, and pharmacy respondents were unhappy about claim rejections for what they felt were insignificant issues. All interviewees agreed that one of the biggest problems is poor prescribing practices in public health facilities. They reiterated that prescribers need more supervision to improve their practices, particularly to ensure adherence to standard treatment guidelines, which NHIF requires for approving a claim.