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Developing Better Terms of Reference to Improve the Performance of Pharmaceutical Sector Committees: Case Studies from South Africa

In South Africa, there are numerous governance structures that make crucial decisions about selection, procurement, distribution, and use of medicines, diagnostics, and other pharmaceutical products. A challenge commonly encountered is that critical committees either do not exist or where the committee is in place, it does not function optimally. One of the most underlying causes of poor functioning of committees is the absence of or weak terms of reference (TOR). In 2015, the Affordable Medicines Directorate (AMD) of South Africa’s National Department of Health (NDOH), requested assistance from SIAPS in strengthening the TOR of several national committees, including those involved in selection of medicines for inclusion on the National Essential Medicines List (NEML). SIAPS developed a TOR guidance document that can be used in the development or review of TOR. The purpose of this brief is to share the guidance document and the processes SIAPS and their counterparts followed to develop new and revise existing TOR for three different pharmaceutical sector committees in South Africa.

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Celebrating Success in Guinea

SIAPS has worked with Guinea’s Ministry of Health since February 2012 to help expand malaria prevention and treatment programs and strengthen the country’s pharmaceutical systems. To support these two objectives, SIAPS provided technical assistance to strengthen governance in the pharmaceutical sector, enhance the availability of pharmaceutical management information systems at all levels of the health […]

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Inventory of Key USAID and Global AMR-related System Strengthening Resources/Interventions

This inventory is a selected list of resources and interventions that support antimicrobial resistance (AMR) containment. The objective of this inventory is to provide a list of key resources, tools, and interventions that create or strengthen systems that are necessary to improve antimicrobial use and AMR containment. Along with the full references, links are provided directly to the documents or to sites from where the documents can be downloaded. The intention is to periodically update the inventory as new resources, tools, and evidence-based interventions become available.

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Supporting drug and therapeutics committees in Sierra Leone to promote safe, appropriate medicine use

Irrational medicine use and poor pharmaceutical management at all levels are widespread problems in many developing countries, including Sierra Leone. Misuse, underuse, and overuse of medicines; weak systems that compromise medicine safety; the waste of scarce resources due to expiry; and the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are particularly worrying because they directly affect health outcomes. Because of a lack of sound data for decision making, health workers may need to select products for medicines lists, supply, and prescribing based on observation and preferences. SIAPS is facilitating the selection of appropriate, safe products to be procured and used at different levels of the public health system. Promoting rational medicine use cuts down on waste, improves health outcomes, and helps prevent the spread of AMR.

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HIV/TB Pharmaceutical Management Training in Swaziland to Improve Medicine Availability and Rational Use

An off-site training was held for 104 pharmacy personnel (32 males, 72 females) responsible for managing HIV and TB medicines in 88 health facilities in the 4 regions around the country. SIAPS supported the training, which included pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and nurses. The trainings took place over August 7–17, 2017, and each region was trained […]

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Pediatric Antiretroviral Treatment Uptake, Treatment Adherence, Regimen Switches, and Retention in Care in Namibia

In Namibia, a preliminary review of EDT records suggests that children form a small proportion of the patients accessing ART in any given setting, nationally composing 8% of the patients on ART in the MoHSS facilities. Over the years, managing children has been complicated with formulations that have not been friendly for children, complicated regimens, and occasional stock-outs of pediatric ARVs. These challenges may increase the number of children that might receive suboptimal care, including delayed or no interventions in face of poor adherence, ultimately leading to suboptimal response to treatment. This can then increase the risk of HIV drug resistance and leads to short survival of HIV-infected children. Findings from this assessment will provide much needed evidence on trends in pediatric HIV treatment uptake, levels of adherence, and retention among those on treatment. Ultimately, the evidence generated will support MoHSS policy makers and leaders in modifying and strengthening interventions aimed at enhancing treatment uptake, adherence, retention, and viral load suppression among HIV-infected children in Namibia.

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In the news: Capacity building to defeat AMR

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the world’s most pressing global health threats and could erode the progress made in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and many other infectious diseases. Although AMR occurs naturally, many interrelated factors, including excessive or inappropriate use of antibiotics, poor control practices, and infection prevention, contribute to its acceleration […]

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Combating Antimicrobial Resistance with Strong Coalitions

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when microorganisms develop a resistance to a medicine that was originally intended to disable or kill them. While microbes naturally develop resistance to antimicrobials over time, AMR is accelerated by the overuse and misuse of antimicrobial medicines and non-adherence to treatment regimens. AMR jeopardizes the effectiveness of complex surgeries and procedures […]

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Building Coalitions for Containing Antimicrobial Resistance: A Guide

This guide aims to help individuals, organizations, and governments develop, establish, and maintain effective multidisciplinary and multisectoral coalitions to combat AMR. This document provides guidance on building and strengthening coalitions to combat AMR through five key elements. It primarily focuses on the creation and establishment of new coalitions; however, these elements are relevant throughout the lifespan of a coalition, and revisiting each periodically may be important as coalitions grow and evolve, expand in scope or wane and need to be revitalized. In addition, the elements of coalition building may not necessarily occur in strict sequential order. Depending on the context and existing systems in place, coalitions may be able to use situational analyses that have already been conducted or utilize an existing active network. In each setting, it is important to understand the needs of the coalition and focus on the elements of this guide that align best with those needs.

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SIAPS partners with the University of Namibia to host the third international medicine utilization research symposium

SIAPS provided technical assistance to the University of Namibia-School of Pharmacy (UNAM-SoP) in organizing the third international Medicines Utilisation Research in Africa (MURIA) workshop and symposium in Windhoek, June 26–28, 2017. With the theme of “Medicine utilisation research in Africa, influencing patient care and policy”, the conference highlighted the importance of building the capacity of […]

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