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The Technical Support Services Project (TSSP), implemented by Management Sciences for Health, works with the Tanzania Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children and the Presidents Office Regional Administration and Local Government to improve the country’s health information system.

To support Tanzania in obtaining, analyzing and using reliable data for informed health system decision making, the Tanzania Technical Support Services Project (TSSP), implemented by Management Sciences for Health, is supporting the development and integration of HIV/AIDS indicators into a new electronic health information dashboard for DHIS2, the national health information platform.

The USAID-funded, KNCV-led Challenge TB (CTB) project operated from 2014 to 2019 in 24 countries and two regions.

It takes a resilient pharmaceutical system working within and in support of a functioning health system to ensure access to products and services for the people who need them. Pharmaceutical system strengthening requires a coordinated response from policy makers to the dispenser at the local drug shop.

Nigeria has the largest population in Africa, now exceeding 200 million, and is home to 25% of the world’s malaria burden. As a sub-recipient to Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is a partner to the government of Nigeria in combating malaria.

The objective of this study was to describe the conceptual and implementation approach of selected digital health technologies that were tailored in various resource-constrained countries. Drawing from our multi-year institutional experience in more than 20 high disease-burden countries that aspire to meet the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3, we screened internal project documentation on various digital health tools that provide clarity in the conceptual and implementation approach. Taking into account geographic diversity, we provide a descriptive review of five selected case studies from Bangladesh (Asia), Mali (Francophone Africa), Uganda (East Africa), Mozambique (Lusophone Africa), and Namibia (Southern Africa). A key lesson learned is to harness and build on existing governance structures. The use of data for decision-making at all levels needs to be cultivated and sustained through multi-stakeholder partnerships. The next phase of information management development is to build systems for triangulation of data from patients, commodities, geomapping, and other parameters of the pharmaceutical system. A well-defined research agenda must be developed to determine the effectiveness of the country- and regional-level dashboards as an early warning system to mitigate stock-outs and wastage of medicines and commodities.

The response to emergency public health challenges such as HIV, TB, and malaria has been successful in mobilising resources and scaling up treatment for communicable diseases. However, many of the remaining challenges in improving access to and appropriate use of medicines and services require pharmaceutical systems strengthening. Incorporating pharmaceutical systems strengthening into global health programmes requires recognition of a few ‘truths’. Systems strengthening is a lengthy and resource-intensive process that requires sustained engagement, which may not align with the short time frame for achieving targets in vertical-oriented programmes. Further, there is a lack of clarity on what key metrics associated with population and patient level outcomes should be tracked for systems strengthening interventions. This can hinder advocacy and communication with decision makers regarding health systems investments. Moving forward, it is important to find ways to balance the inherent tensions between the short-term focus on the efficiency of vertical programmes and broader, longer-term health and development objectives. Global health programme design should also shift away from a narrow view of medicines primarily as an input commodity to a more comprehensive view that recognizes the various structures and processes and their interactions within the broader health system that help ensure access to and appropriate use of medicines and related services.

Please download to read the USAID Safe, Affordable, and Effective Medicines for Ukrainians (SAFEMed) Activity in Ukraine News Digest, June 2020 edition. 

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