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Technical Highlight: Strengthening Regulatory Systems in Democratic Republic of the Congo to Improve Access to Safe, Effective, and Quality Medicines

Chronic underfunding of the health sector coupled with long-term civil unrest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has contributed to insufficient regulatory capacity to effectively manage the registration and approval of new medicines in the country. In partnership with the USAID-funded SIAPS Program, the country’s Ministry of Health supported a number of broad interventions to strengthen DRC’s pharmaceutical regulatory system. SIAPS provides technical assistance to the three national control programs—malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis—to improving access to quality medicines and other commodities and increase the potential for achieving desired health outcomes.

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Addressing the Challenge of Supply Coordination in DRC: SIAPS and the National Malaria Control Program in Haut-Katanga

By Dr. Jonathan Luc Matala, Moise Kazadi, and Pacifique Bwenge Supply chain management includes coordinating and collaborating with partners at all levels, who serve as links to the end users, to ensure that commodities are available when and where they are needed, thereby avoiding wastage and expiry. To strengthen DRC’s interventions and coordinate its supporting […]

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DRC Launching Pilot Standard Therapeutic Guidelines for Hospitals and Improving Patient Care with Drug Therapeutic Committees

By Dr. Jonathan Luc Matala and Julie Mbo In 2012, DRC decided to reinforce drug therapeutic committees (DTCs) in nine hospitals that were previously installed by the Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) Program. DRC asked the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program, which is funded by the US Agency for International Development […]

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Strengthening Regulatory Systems to Improve Access to Safe, Effective, and Quality Medicines

SIAPS technical support has helped strengthen the capacity of the national registration committee and streamline medicines registration. As a result, the number of registered medicines has increased from 200 in 2010 to over 3,000 in 2014; 72% of the medicines included on DRC’s essential medicines list currently have at least one product registered, up from 44% in 2011. The backlog of applications has been completely eliminated and the time taken to process a new application has been reduced from a peak of 85 days in 2013 to 64 days at the end of 2014.

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Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services: Malaria Quarterly Update – January—March 2016

Working closely with the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) in both Washington and PMI- focus countries, the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program aims to ensure the availability of quality pharmaceutical products and effective pharmaceutical services in support of PMI objectives. To this end, and based on the PMI’s priorities, SIAPS endeavors to improve pharmaceutical governance, build capacity to manage malaria products while addressing the information needed for managing them, strengthen financing strategies and mechanisms to improve access to malaria medicines, and improve the quality of pharmaceutical services provided to malaria patients.

The SIAPS technical approach emphasizes health systems strengthening with a special focus on improving metrics, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), developing the capacity of local governments and organizations, and increasing country ownership. Through this approach, SIAPS aims to promote the availability and use of malaria products, including artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), rapid diagnostic tests (RDT), and medicines for severe malaria. At the country level, SIAPS collaborates with national malaria control programs and Central Medical Stores (CMS) to develop and implement strategies to strengthen pharmaceutical management to prevent and improve case management of malaria. Areas supported by SIAPS include: training; quantification; strengthening supply chain systems, including logistics management information; community and malaria case management; rational use; and medication safety. SIAPS works to strengthen malaria pharmaceutical management at the national level in Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Guinea, Mali, Niger, and South Sudan. In addition, SIAPS provides regional support in Latin America.

This report describes the major activities that SIAPS conducted at the global level and in each of the countries and region mentioned above between January and March 2016.

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Analysis of Bottlenecks Related to Demand, Supply, and Use of Antibiotics for the Treatment of Neonatal Sepsis in the DRC

This study was initiated by the Direction de la Santé de la Famille et de Groupes Spécifiques (D10) and the Ministry of Public Health and carried out with technical and financial assistance from the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) and Integrated Health Project (PROSANI-Plus) implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH). The study stems from the many efforts by the Government and its partners to reduce maternal, infant, and, specifically, neonatal mortality.

Funding for the study, the report, and its dissemination was obtained from the Global Technical Reference Team for injectable antibiotics through the convener of the group, Save the Children.

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DRC Moves to Improve Access to Life-Saving Commodities for Mothers and Children

For the first time in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 13 life-saving health commodities for mothers and children have been included in the National Health Development Plan (NHDP). These medicines are recommended by the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children (UNCoLSC). The move by the Ministry of Public Health […]

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Defeating pneumonia: Considering both providers and caregivers in achieving medication adherence

More than 900,000 children die of pneumonia each year. Many of these cases go undiagnosed and untreated. The countdown to 2015 report notes that only 54% of children with pneumonia symptoms are taken to a health care provider, while the Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhea reports that only 31% of children with suspected […]

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National Pneumonia Day in DRC

The Ministry of Health (MoH) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)—with support from USAID through the Integrated Health Project and SIAPS Program, as well as UNICEF and other partners—has organized a National Pneumonia Day to raise awareness of pneumonia prevention and management.  DRC’s National Pneumonia Day falls on November 12, coinciding with World Pneumonia Day. […]

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PMI Coordinator Visits SIAPS-DRC

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with one highest malaria incidence rates in the world, is a priority country for the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI). PMI has played a major role in the country’s fight against malaria, having dedicated $50m toward eliminating the disease in DRC over the last five years. PMI Coordinator Rear […]

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