Pharmaceutical Management: Our Impact

 {Photo credit: Doris Bota/MTaPS}Participants relax after an infection prevention and control training in Kisii, Kenya.Photo credit: Doris Bota/MTaPS

Since March 18, 2020, the USAID Medicines, Technologies, and Pharmaceutical Services (MTaPS) Program has been collaborating with the Kenyan Ministry of Health (MoH) to roll out a series of training-of-trainers (ToT) courses to help the government contain and manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

 {Photo credit UHSC staff/MSH}Henry Oundo, UHSC staff member, reviews stock records with Opolot Grace, assistant inventory management officer at Princess Diana Health Center, Uganda.Photo credit UHSC staff/MSH

In the foothills of Uganda’s fabled Moon Rwenzori Mountains, in the far west of the country, sits Bundibugyo Hospital. From its front steps you can see the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the distance. Many refugees who fled their homes during DRC’s internal conflict are treated at here. The hospital regularly serves a population of nearly 49,000, many of whom rely on its HIV clinic for prevention, treatment, and care. Built in 1969, Bundibugyo Hospital had always faced the challenge of limited storage space for medicines and health supplies.

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman}Photo credit: Warren Zelman

The USAID MTaPS Program, led by MSH, is on the frontlines supporting USAID’s efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus in high-risk countries. The program’s mandate includes advancing the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and is, therefore, well equipped to respond to global public health emergencies such as the current outbreak.  MTaPS has formed a COVID-19 response team to assist countries in developing a rapid response action plan to manage the outbreak.

{Photo Credit: Rui Pires}Photo Credit: Rui Pires

Excessive bleeding after birth is the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide, killing nearly 200 women a day.

{Photo Credit: Rui Pires}Photo Credit: Rui Pires

In Uganda, 4 in 10 maternal deaths are caused by postpartum hemorrhage, or excessive bleeding after childbirth. Intravenous oxytocin is the treatment of choice for managing postpartum hemorrhage at a health facility but must be stored between 2oC and 8oC to remain effective. The country’s cold chain infrastructure is weak, however, particularly at lower level health facilities, where half of all assisted births occur. The majority of these facilities only have refrigerators that are specifically procured and used for the storage of vaccines.

 {Photo credit: MSH staff}The Koboko District Rapid Response team and partners discuss medicines and medical supplies to order through the eELMISPhoto credit: MSH staff

Read the original story on the USAID websiteIdentifying opportunities to improve global health requires innovation and creative thinking.  In developing countries such as Uganda, the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting an already-strained health system. Access to primary health care remains difficult for many people, and quality of care is inconsistent, with limited drugs, supplies, and human resources.

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman}Photo credit: Warren Zelman

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 1 in 10 pharmaceutical products sold globally is falsified or substandard, with deadly effects and the situation is known to be far worse in certain regions of the world; in 2013 alone, falsified malaria medicines killed more than 120,000 children in Africa.  Meanwhile, WHO surveys in 2018 estimated that only about one-third of National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) had the capacity to effectively regulate medical products in their hospitals, pharmacies, and communities, with only one of those NRAs being in Africa.The WHO

In April 2019, the USAID Safe, Affordable, and Effective Medicines for Ukrainians (SAFEMed) Activity supported the National Health Service of Ukraine with the introduction of electronic prescriptions, also known as e-prescriptions, to complement and advance Ukraine's medicines reimbursement program. At little or no cost, patients can access select medicines, which family doctors electronically prescribe, to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, or bronchial asthma.

The USAID MTaPS Program is supporting the Philippines in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The concerted effort is a partnership of USAID with the Philippines Department of Health (DoH), the World Health Organization (WHO), and UNICEF.  MTaPS is assisting in two technical areas critical to managing and controlling the pandemic: infection prevention and control (IPC) and supply chain management of essential emergency commodities.

Photo credit: Amany AyubPhoto credit: Amany Ayub

The USAID MTaPS Program is supporting the Government of Bangladesh to manage and contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

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