The SIAPS program uses a health systems strengthening approach which supports and integrates all core functions of country health systems for greater health impact. The core functions of a health system, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), include (1) health governance (2) human resources for health, (3) health information, (4) health financing, (5) health service delivery, and (6) medical products (supplies, vaccines, and technology).
SIAPS strengthens health systems with a focus on medical products. In partnership with the local government, health care providers, and communities, SIAPS analyzes pharmaceutical management systems to determine appropriate options for improvement. We then support our partners in implementing reforms in all components of the pharmaceutical management system:
This SIAPS Pharmaceutical Systems Strengthening graphic represents the dynamic relationship among the core functions of a health system from the perspective of SIAPS activities.
The medical products’ role in a health system relies on each of the other health system functions. The SIAPS guiding framework is composed of a comprehensive set of dynamic relationships among the five health system building blocks, with the sixth – medical products – as an overlay to provide technical content and identify substantive areas of concern. SIAPS uses proven techniques and tools to strengthen all areas:
Countries often lack transparent and effective governance systems—policies based on best practices, legislation supported by the rule of law, and regulation that is supported by appropriate technology—leaving health organizations without the guidance they need to operate effectively. SIAPS helps countries assess their governance needs and adopt sound pharmaceutical policies, legislation, and regulation processes to manage the cost of medicines, monitor medicine quality and safety, control medicine advertising, establish transparent management systems and more.
Human Resources: Building Pharmaceutical Management and Services Capacity
Conflict and lack of resources often leave countries without enough well-trained health workers. SIAPS helps countries build the capacity of their health workforce to manage pharmaceuticals. SIAPS works with stakeholders to assess a country’s capacity to manage pharmaceuticals at all levels. Using a stakeholder consensus approach, areas for improvement are identified and interventions to strengthen the system for the long term are developed.
The SIAPS capacity building strategy will also focus on building institutional capacity for implementing sustainable improvements while identifying and capacitating local organizations, public or private, to provide pharmaceutical management technical assistance.
Information for Decision-Making
When countries are not able to adequately collect and use health data and information, they cannot make evidence-based decisions and develop efficient strategies for managing pharmaceutical products and services. SIAPS improves pharmaceutical information systems by integrating pharmaceutical data collection, processing, and presenting information to support evidence-based decision making by health workers at all levels, including community volunteers who teach their neighbors to take medicines correctly.
Without adequate health resources and financial systems that reduce patients’ out-of-pocket payments, countries simply cannot afford effective health care. Many people are pushed into poverty because of the high cost of medicines. SIAPS helps countries identify and implement initiatives to control the cost of pharmaceutical products and services, use them more efficiently, and secure additional funding.
Pharmaceutical Service Delivery
Even when medicines are readily available, patients often do not receive the right medicine, in the right dose, for the right amount of time, at the lowest possible cost. Health service delivery includes all services that support patient care and treatment, such as medicine information and counseling for patients. All SIAPS activities support health service delivery, with particular focus on improving access, protecting patient safety and containing antimicrobial resistance.