Stories

{Photo credit: Rejoice Phiri/MSH} Photo credit: Rejoice Phiri/MSH

On April 2, 2020, Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika confirmed the country's first cases of COVID-19.

{Monita Baba Djara}Monita Baba Djara

Help us celebrate MSH's 50th birthday! We were incorporated in Massachusetts, USA, on May 21, 1971 and have since then worked in over 150 countries. To celebrate our 50th, we invite you to follow our Go To The People series, sharing stories and reflections from current and former MSHers, partners, and local health leaders worldwide, as they reflect on the impact we’ve made together on the lives of individuals, communities, and in global health. Working together, let's shape the next 50 years for greater health impact.

 {Photo credit: Raian Amzad/MSH}A client picks up a prescription at a private-sector drug shop in Dhaka, Bangladesh.Photo credit: Raian Amzad/MSH

In Bangladesh, private neighborhood drug sellers are the first point of care for 70% of the population. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the country went into lockdown, the people of Bangladesh depended even more on the safe delivery of products and services from local accredited drug sellers. Despite all odds, they kept their shops open safely.The Better Health Bangladesh project (BHB), funded by the U.K.’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development office, has been supporting Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Drug Administration since 2018 to accredit these private-sector drug sellers in 32 districts. MSH, which leads the project, began supporting private drug seller accreditation in Tanzania in 2003. The model has since been adopted in a number of countries in Africa and Asia. The medicine vendors receive assessments and training in pharmaceutical practices, such as accurate dispensing, counselling, and other pharmaceutical services. In the first phase of the project, through December 2020, BHB accredited 2,193 retail medicine shops against a target 2,500 (88%).

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