By Stacy Lu, SIAPS Technical Writer
Based on USAID/Angola’s Gindungo Newsletter by Paul McDermott, Acting USAID/Angola Mission Director, and Gastao Figueiredo, Editor
The Angolan Central Procurement Agency for Medicines and Medical Supplies (CECOMA) has developed a draft strategy to reform and strengthen the country’s pharmaceuticals system. CECOMA developed the strategy during a hree-day workshop in June offered by USAID’s Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Project.
Along with representatives from the Ministry of Health (MoH), attendees included representatives from the ministries of finance, defense, industry, commerce and transport, as well as private sector pharmaceutical companies, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Development Program and the World Bank.
The strategy focuses on forecasting need, cost-effective procurement, on-time delivery, and quality oversight. It is seen as key to reforming a system that currently experiences frequent stock-outs of key medicines and supplies, market infiltration of counterfeit, low-quality medicines and exorbitant prices. In closing remarks, both U.S. Ambassador Helen La Lime and State Secretary for Health Dr. Constantina Furtado spoke of the need to prioritize health, even at a time of fiscal severity in Angola.
Training on Quantification and Planning for Health Commodities
Earlier in the year, SIAPS supported Quantimed training in Luanda Province for 12 MoH pharmaceutical management staff. The software, which SIAPS developed, helps users calculate of commodity needs based on past consumption, and helps them with forecasting, supply planning, and stock level monitoring. SIAPS is carrying out regular quantification exercises in the country, with results informing procurement decision making, budget allocation, and budget solicitation—all essential parts of a strong national health system. At this event, participants learned about protocols and tools for improved management of HIV/AIDS and malaria commodities in particular.
The SIAPS program, implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), has been providing technical assistance to the Angola Ministry of Health to improve pharmaceutical management since 2011.