Pharmaceutical Management: Our Impact

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

An integrated approach to monitoring the safety of medicines that includes both active surveillance and spontaneous reporting is essential to a well-functioning pharmaceutical sector. Active surveillance is particularly important to support the introduction of new essential medicines in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where regulatory systems are often still developing and need support.

 {Photo credit: MSH}Dagnachew Hailemariam, Head Pharmacist at Bishoftu Hospital.Photo credit: MSH

Dagnachew Hailemariam has worked at Bishoftu General Hospital for six years. The hospital, located 45 km south of Addis Ababa in the town of Bishoftu, is state owned and provides services to between 400 and 500 patients per day. Likewise, the hospital pharmacy receives orders for around 400 to 500 prescriptions per day.

 {Photo credit: Beata Imans/PFSCM}Patients continue to receive their medicines at the counter of the temporary pharmacy.Photo credit: Beata Imans/PFSCM

On the night of December 17, 2014, a fire caused by a short circuit engulfed the pharmacy of the Divo regional hospital, one of the hospitals that provides medical services to more than one million inhabitants of the Loh-Djiboua region of Côte d'Ivoire. Despite the quick response and joint efforts of the neighboring community, $43,000 worth of general medicines and $54,000 worth of antiretrovirals (ARVs) were destroyed. Though the laboratory equipment was recovered, the laboratory was no longer functional as a result of fire damage.

 {Photo Credit: KZN PPSD}The KZN Provincial Pharmaceutical Supply Depot.Photo Credit: KZN PPSD

The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Provincial Pharmaceutical Supply Depot (PPSD) procures and supplies pharmaceuticals to approximately 550 health facilities in the South African province. In July 2013, it took the PPSD an average of 27 days to process and prepare for dispatch a health facility’s main order for medicine. The PPSD was therefore faced with a pressing question: How can we reduce the time to complete a facility’s main order?

 {Photo: SIAPS Namibia, September 2015}Martin Mandumbwa, PA, dispensing medicines to a patient at Robert Mugabe Clinic in Windhoek, Namibia.Photo: SIAPS Namibia, September 2015

Namibia faces a high burden of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, with an estimated 13.1 percent of the adult population living with HIV. To help address this critical national health concern, the Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) has been receiving technical assistance from the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program, with funding from the US President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), through US Agency for International Development (USAID), and led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH).

{Photo credit: Loren Gomes/SIAPS}Photo credit: Loren Gomes/SIAPS

Curbing the spread of tuberculosis (TB) requires that patients have uninterrupted access to a full course of treatment—frequently a difficult task in developing country settings considering that each regimen includes multiple medicines taken over the span of several months. These may need to be customized based on the type of TB being treated and the patient’s reaction to the prescribed combination. The emergence of multidrug-resistant TB (MDRTB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDRTB) further complicates the management of TB medicines.

 {Photo credit: Anicia Filda/RHU Gulu}Reproductive Health Uganda's Gulu Branch Health Center, Uganda.Photo credit: Anicia Filda/RHU Gulu

Located in northern Uganda, Reproductive Health Uganda’s (RHU) Gulu Branch Health Center (Gulu) is one of the busiest clinics in the country—serving over 25,000 clients with sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services per month. When demand for SRH services outpaced Gulu’s supply of sexually transmitted infection (STI) drugs and other essential medicines, the clinic could not continue offering essential SRH services to many who needed them, threatening the equitable access to health care in the community.

 {Photo credit: Gwenn Dubourthoumieu - Niger State, Nigeria}A Minna hospital employee checks a blood sample for HIV.Photo credit: Gwenn Dubourthoumieu - Niger State, Nigeria

To increase country ownership and sustainability of laboratory services and programs, the USAID-funded Prevention Organizational Systems AIDS Care and Treatment (Pro-ACT) project, led by MSH, identified the need to develop the program leadership and management capacity of local medical laboratory associations in Nigeria. 

 {Photo: Michael Bajile/MSH-Tanzania}Vincent Nanai conducts routine inventory in the Bariadi District pharmacy store.Photo: Michael Bajile/MSH-Tanzania

As a pharmacist with the Bariadi Council Health Management Team in Tanzania’s Lake Zone, Vincent Nanai is responsible for ensuring that all 23 public health facilities supported by the council are stocked with essential commodities. However, prior to Nanai’s training from the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Tibu Homa project, many public health facilities within the Lake Zone frequently ran out of medicines and supplies.

 {Video screenshot}MSH and partners developed the Pharmaceutical Leadership Development Program (PLDP) in South Africa in 2011.Video screenshot

Strong leadership and management are important factors in the delivery of quality health services, efficient use of resources, and achievement of positive health outcomes.

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