The Maternal Health Technical Resource Team (MHTRT) of the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children has been exploring strategies to increase access to quality oxytocin, including advocating for the integration of oxytocin in the existing cold chain for the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI).
Some countries, such as Mali and Ghana, have attempted integration in some areas of the country already and have experiences that can help answer that question. PATH and the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program recently prepared case studies on these countries that describe the extent to which integration was achieved. In neither case was integration systematic; it occurred spontaneously and out of necessity at points along the distribution chain.
The purpose of this activity is to work with national stakeholders to identify and analyze feasible and acceptable options for the integration of oxytocin in the EPI cold chain at key points along the distribution chain and to develop guidance on the operationalization of such integration.
A team composed of an international consultant, a national consultant, two representatives from the Directorate of Pharmacy and Medicines (DPM) and the SIAPS-Mali team worked together in the preparation and organization of workshops.
During the preparatory phase of the two working meetings, the team developed the terms of reference, the letter of invitation, and the agenda of the working meetings and presentations and agreed on the profile of the participants for the working meetings.
The methodological approach was the same for both working meetings, namely presentations followed by discussion and group work, summarized in a plenary session.