With support from SIAPS and in collaboration with other development partners, the Central Medical Stores (CMS) conducts supportive supervision and mentorship (SSM) visits to health facilities. Through these visits, the capacity of health personnel is built to effectively manage pharmaceuticals and services, improve the rational use of pharmaceuticals, and strengthen supply chain management at all levels of health care delivery.
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Supportive Supervision and Mentorship Site Visit for Pharmacy Services in the Shiselweni Region, Swaziland
In 2014, SIAPS supported the Ministry of Health (MOH), Central Medical Stores (CMS), and Swaziland Health Laboratory Services (SHLS) by conducting a workshop to build capacity and improve performance of staff that works in warehouse operations. The Imperial Health Services warehouse was used as a model to showcase warehousing best practices.
SIAPS supported the Swaziland Ministry of Health (MOH) in mobilizing key stakeholders from the Swaziland National AIDS Program and the National Tuberculosis Control Program to introduce and implement an active surveillance system for patients on ARVs and anti-TB treatment. SIAPS provided technical assistance to MOH’s National Pharmacovigilance Unit (NPVU) to develop the protocol and tools to implement the system, as well as to develop a system for recruiting patients at the HIV and TB sites.
Report on Routine Supportive Supervision Visits to Health Facilities in the Hhohho and Lubombo Regions, Swaziland
Since October 2015, SIAPS has been supporting hospitals, health centers, and high volume clinics at the request of regional implementing partners in the Hhohho and Lubombo regions. This report documents the support that facilities have received, progress made, and recommendations for future support.
This report presents highlights of SIAPS’ work to capacitate health workers on proper pharmaceutical service delivery and stock management over a four-year period (2012 to 2015). SIAPS did a baseline assessment at health facilities (HF) in 2012, and then from 2013 to 2015, its technical advisors provided assistance to address the identified performance gaps. The objectives of this evaluation were to document results achieved from implementing mentorship and supportive supervision (SS) visits in supply chain management and pharmaceutical services; and present lessons learned from the implementation of these visits.
Establishment of Pre-Service Mid-Level Pharmacy Training in Swaziland: From Assessment to Implementation
To assess the feasibility of launching a pharmacy training program or programs in Swaziland, the assessment considered the establishment of different pharmacy training programs with different training models, taking into consideration market requirements in both the public and private sectors. The feasibility assessment recommended the ideal curriculum to be adopted for Swaziland.
Swaziland is one of three remaining countries in the Southern Africa Development Community Region that do not have adequate regulatory and legislative frameworks to control the use, importation, manufacturing, and exportation of medicines. This is in the face of increased incidence of counterfeit medicines in the region; up to 25% of marketed medicines are substandard, and this is up to 64% for antimalarial medicines, according to a study conducted in 2011. Use of counterfeit and substandard medicines increases the burden of disease because of therapeutic failure, exacerbation of disease, and resistance to medicines. Swaziland’s weakness in medicines regulation and limited regulatory enforcement is also exploited by those smuggling prohibited and counterfeit medicines into neighboring countries.
Strengthening Pharmacovigilance Systems in Swaziland to Improve Patient Safety and Treatment Outcomes
SIAPS mobilized stakeholders from the Swaziland National AIDS Program (SNAP) and the National Tuberculosis Control Program (NTCP) to introduce and implement the Sentinel Site-based Active Surveillance System for Antiretroviral and Anti-TB (SSASSA) treatment programs. SIAPS partnered with the Pharmacovigilance Unit of the MOH to create the protocol and tools for the electronic SSASSA system, and developed a patient recruitment system at HIV and TB sites.
Coordinated Quantification of Health Commodities Helps Increase Availability of Medicines in Swaziland
Swaziland, working to combat two concurrent epidemics of HIV and tuberculosis (TB), has recently intensified nationwide HIV testing and TB case finding campaigns. However, these efforts have been hampered by routine stock-outs of key TB, laboratory, HIV and AIDS, and other health commodities. In December 2011, 50% of tracer products were stocked out at the central level, while 23% of tracer products were stocked out at health facility warehouses. The challenge of maintaining a consistent supply of commodities threatens not only current efforts to help curb the HIV and TB epidemics, but may also erode the progress made to date toward advancing prevention, diagnosis, and treatment services. The rapid scale-up of these programs as well as fiscal challenges in the health sector, have exposed weaknesses related to procurement and supply chain systems.
The weak regulatory system in Swaziland poses a threat to public health and safety and has been an obstacle in the country’s effort to improve access to quality essential medicines and services for managing HIV, controlling tuberculosis, and delivering other priority public health interventions. The legislation governing the regulation of medicines, pharmaceutical establishments, and the pharmacy profession in Swaziland dates back to 1929 and no longer serves as an effective or relevant legal framework for the pharmaceutical sector. Specifically, the absence of a legal mandate for a national medicines regulatory authority has made it difficult for the government to assure the quality, safety, and efficacy of medicines used in the country.