Tag Archives | capacity building

Technical Highlight: Strengthening the Medicines Regulatory System in 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.

 

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Technical Brief: Strengthening Drug and Therapeutics Committees to Promote Rational Medicine Use in Mozambique

Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world, with approximately 70% of the population living below the poverty line. Many women and children are unable to access essential health services and medicine due to inadequate geographic coverage, financing, and available health professionals. Neonatal mortality is 30 deaths per 1,000, and under-five mortality is 90/1,000. Malaria accounts for approximately 26% of hospital deaths. Dual infections of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV and the threat of increasing multidrug-resistant TB complicate the national TB program response. To support priority programs such as HIV prevention and treatment and maternal and child health, Mozambique’s Ministry of Health and SIAPS are establishing Drug and Therapeutics Committees (DTCs) and training committee members to improve medicine management and use, thereby helping to achieve good health outcomes.

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Selected Review of Training Approaches in the SIAPS Program: Bangladesh and Ethiopia Country Reports

Between 2011 and 2015, the SIAPS Program has trained more than 38,000 people in 20 countries. To understand the training approaches used and the results of the training, the SIAPS Program performed a multi-country review of individual capacity-building approaches. The objective of this review is to summarize the types of training that have been used by the SIAPS Program and examine the effects of the training on individual capacity.  SIAPS Bangladesh and Ethiopia were selected for an in-depth review of SIAPS training activities.  In Bangladesh and Ethiopia, participatory training methods with post-training practices and supervisory support were found more helpful than others. Most respondents also identified improved staff knowledge, skills, quality of work, and performance of the system as resulting from SIAPS training and interventions.

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Technical Brief: Strengthening Namibia’s Pharmacy Sector and Workforce

Namibia faces a dual public health burden of HIV and AIDS and tuberculosis (TB). Critical to the treatment and management of these diseases is an effective workforce that can provide quality pharmaceutical services throughout the country. Pharmacists and pharmacist assistants (PAs) play critical roles in dispensing life-saving medications, monitoring patient health and progress, and educating both patients and other health professionals about proper medication use, storage, and dispensing practices. To meet the high demand for quality pharmaceutical services and to ensure that pharmacy personnel needs are being met, the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program supported the Government of the Republic of Namibia in the long-term planning of pharmaceutical human resources and building the capacity of two local institutions to provide pre-service and in-service pharmaceutical management training.

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Strengthening the National Malaria Control Program in South Sudan

The Government of South Sudan expends significant resources in the fight against malaria. With support from development partners, it has invested in personnel, infrastructure, and the procurement and distribution of malaria commodities in the country. As one of the key partners supporting government efforts to control malaria, SIAPS has been working to build the capacity of the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP), a government organization responsible for the planning, coordination, and general oversight of all malaria prevention and control activities, including fulfilling Roll Back Malaria and MIS requirements.

To this end, SIAPS has been supporting NMCP in performing its core functions, including planning, coordinating, and implementing malaria interventions.  This includes providing on-the-job training and conducting routine supportive supervision; coordinating with other USAID and global health partners to provide malaria case management training; and helping to ensure effective management of essential antimalaria commodities in the country.

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Engaging Private-Sector Drug Dispensers to Improve Tuberculosis Control

To assess the readiness and willingness of retail drug dispensers in the private sector to participate in TB case detection, SIAPS conducted a baseline survey among pharmacies and accredited drug dispensing outlets (ADDOs) in the regions of Morogoro and Dar es Salaam. Drug dispensers in 122 pharmacies and 173 ADDOs were surveyed to assess TB knowledge and practices, and to inform the development of appropriate interventions to address gaps.

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Evaluation and Expansion of Community Case Management of Malaria to Support Informed Decision Making

Working in partnership with the leadership at the MOH and the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP), SIAPS helped develop protocols and job aids for CHWs to guide them in the key steps of case management, and supported initial and refresher trainings for over 520 CHWs from the two districts. To ensure that health facilities also had sufficient capacity to provide effective support to the CHWs, SIAPS conducted additional trainings with health facility and district-level staff to create a network of support for the CCM pilot. SIAPS also helped establish a mechanism to collect and use data coming out of the pilot by building the data collection and analysis capacity of CHWs and health facility staff, and by developing a database at the district level to aggregate data from each health center. Additionally, SIAPS ensured the CHWs had the necessary equipment to provide effective CCM, including mobile telephones, bicycles, commodities boxes, gloves, cups, and spoons.

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e-TB Manager Promotes Treatment Quality and Evidence-Based Forecasting of TB Medicines in Ukraine

Assessments conducted in 2013 on the management of TB drugs in Ukraine highlighted specific pharmaceutical management challenges, particularly in terms of data collection, capacity constraints, data quality, and frequency of reporting. Of note, cases of TB within the penitentiary system―roughly 15% of all TB cases in Ukraine―were poorly tracked; even when available, data from the penitentiary system were not integrated with the information system at the Ministry of Health (MOH), which skewed TB surveillance data. Furthermore, ongoing political unrest and personnel changes at the MOH continue to hinder efforts to address these challenges.

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Supporting Pre- and In-Service Training Programs to Expand and Strengthen the Pharmaceutical Workforce

A number of low resource countries are facing a severe and prolonged shortage of health workers, particularly in the pharmaceutical sector where pharmacists, pharmacy assistants, and technicians are becoming especially scarce. With treatment programs, such as those for HIV/AIDS and TB, expanding in many countries, more pharmacists and pharmacy assistants are required to provide effective services. Additionally, overstretched pharmacists and other healthcare workers are often unable to provide effective patient-centered pharmaceutical care which recognized as a critical opportunity to prevent drug resistance, reduce irrational medicines use, eliminate wasteful spending, and most importantly, improve patient health outcomes.

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Strengthening Pharmaceutical Services Through Structured Supportive Supervision in Namibia

An assessment of Namibia’s pharmaceutical system conducted in 2009 identified a number of capacity building challenges to be addressed to improve pharmaceutical services. These challenges included shortages of key staff, unmanageable workloads, and inadequate storage space for medicines. In response, the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS) identified several key mechanisms to address these challenges and strengthen the pharmaceutical sector including improving the functionality of drugs and therapeutics committees (DTCs), expanding use of the Electronic Dispensing Tool (EDT) to track pharmaceutical products and patients, revising the current method of stock management, and harnessing data for decision making.

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