Informed Quantification Brings Greater Access to Treatment for HIV & AIDS Patients in Haiti

 {Photo credit: Jean-Jacques Augustin.}SCMS leads a national quantification exercise to ensure the availability of lifesaving drugs for nearly 55,000 HIV & AIDS patients.Photo credit: Jean-Jacques Augustin.

An estimated 141,000 people live with HIV in Haiti. In support of the Ministry of Public Health and the Population (MSPP)’s continued effort to improve the lives of people living with the virus, the US Government, through the Supply Chain Management System (SCMS), collaborates with the National AIDS Program to achieve its objective of having at least 90 percent of the eligible population on antiretroviral treatment (ART) by September 2015. To make this possible, SCMS, a US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)-funded project administered by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), ensures the timely availability of quality, lifesaving antiretroviral (ARV) and opportunistic infection (OI) drugs for people affected by HIV & AIDS, which are critical to their survival.

Needs assessments are essential to supply planning to make sure that sufficient medicine is available to meet treatment requirements for nearly 55,000 patients who currently rely on ARVs for their health and well-being.

Under the technical leadership of SCMS, the MSPP organized the yearly national quantification workshop for ARV and OI drugs. In this workshop, the MSPP, along with PEPFAR and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund)-supported health networks completed a 24-month forecast of national ARV and OI drug needs. These assessments made it possible for SCMS and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP -- Global Fund’s principal recipient in Haiti), to develop demand-driven procurement plans. Based on this quantification exercise, PEPFAR will fund more than US$10 million worth of ARVs for the period covering October 2014 through September 2015, and over US$12 million worth from October 2015 through September 2016.

SCMS trained technicians from the MSPP, UNDP and several PEPFAR networks in using the Management Sciences for Health (MSH)-developed software, Quantimed, which makes it possible to determine needs based on confirmed hypotheses while taking into account treatment regimens established by the National AIDS Program and consumption data provided by sites. This hands-on training increased the health networks’ capacity to estimate their own program needs, thus strengthening the health system.

Dr. Daniel Duré from Partnership in Health, a PEPFAR-supported network, present at this year’s workshop, said:

It's an interesting approach with an eye for the rational use of financial resources. What we must do is educate networks on the need to provide reliable data for the full success of this process.

Through this quantification exercise, SCMS was also able to strengthen the National Quantification Committee’s capacity to conduct and own the quantification process. As a result, the MSPP better understands the complexity of the process and the role that stakeholders must play to contribute to its program’s success.

Dr. Fleurantin Middle, who officially represented the National AIDS Program at this important workshop, said:

The quantification of ARVs and OI drugs requires excellent coordination between donors who purchase these commodities, the networks who supervise testing and treatment sites, and the sites that provide care to patients.

Rigorous planning and follow-up, based on reliable and timely data, are critical to avoiding drug stockouts and expiries and ensuring patients get the treatment they need when they need it.

Supply Chain Management System (SCMS), established by PEPFAR and USAID in 2005, supplies lifesaving medicines to HIV & AIDS programs around the world and is led by the Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM), a nonprofit organization established by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and John Snow, Inc. MSH manages SCMS operations in Haiti.

This story originally appeared on the SCMS website in PDF format.