Irrational medicine use and poor pharmaceutical management are widespread problems throughout all levels of Sierra Leone’s health system. Misuse, underuse, and overuse of medicines are particularly worrying because they contribute to the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and threaten the effective prevention and treatment of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Recognizing that coordinated […]
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.
In May 2017, SIAPS held a Leadership Development Program (LDP) training to build the capacity of the Directorate of Drugs and Medical Supplies (DDMS), district and hospital pharmacists, and SIAPS field staff. It was the first such training in the country. The program aims to train pharmacists on basic principles and practices of good leadership, management, and governance to help them identify challenges like system and budget constraints—and to lead their teams in handling them with maximum efficiency, collaboration, and transparency. Another training goal is to help pharmaceutical managers optimize the SIAPS-supported Continuous Results Monitoring and Support System (CRMS), which has been implemented nationwide. The training created a pool of local LDP facilitators who can extend their knowledge to other DDMS staff and to pharmacists throughout all 13 districts in Sierra Leone.
When the World Health Organization declared the Ebola epidemic over on November 7, 2015, about 40% of the 8,704 people infected had died. The country’s health system, or what was left of it after a decade of civil war that ended in 2002, was ailing, too. Some health workers had become ill or left, leaving […]
SIAPS received two years of funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in September 2015 to provide technical assistance to rebuild and strengthen the post-Ebola pharmaceutical supply chain management system and improve the supply chain and rational medicine use in Sierra Leone. To support these goals, SIAPS provides technical assistance for systems strengthening activities including governance and leadership, supply chain management and information for decision making.
In May 2016, SIAPS began helping Sierra Leone institute a Continuous Results Monitoring and Support System (CRMS) to assess baseline challenges in pharmaceutical management and regularly track and support improvement in key areas. The CRMS uses a series of indicators related to medicine consumption and availability, disease case management, storage conditions and practices, inventory control and human resources. SIAPS is using this approach in Sierra Leone to improve pharmaceutical management in all health facilities as part of the post-Ebola recovery effort. The CRMS approach includes forming and training team members, planning logistics, visiting health facilities, collecting and analyzing data, providing real-time support and mentoring, preparing reports, and bringing key stakeholders together to review results and plan future activities.
SIAPS supported the establishment and initial training of a national quantification committee and seven quantification technical working groups in October 2016. The national quantification committee and the technical working groups are coordination mechanisms for effective management of pharmaceuticals in the country. SIAPS also supported the Directorate of Drugs and Medical Supplies (DDMS) and the Free Health Care Initiative (FHCI) technical working group in conducting a multiyear quantification of pharmaceuticals. Data from multiple sources, including the SIAPS-supported Continuous Results Monitoring and Support System, were used to support evidence-based decision making. SIAPS also trained all members of the tuberculosis quantification technical working group on the use of QuanTB, a quantification and early warning tool SIAPS developed to improve quantification and procurement processes for TB medicines.
An interview with Murtada Sesay, country project director in Sierra Leone. SIAPS is working on a two-year project funded by USAID to help rebuild and strengthen the country’s pharmaceutical system following the Ebola epidemic. What’s SIAPS doing in Sierra Leone? Our systems strengthening project there was a consequence, not only of the more recent Ebola, […]
Sierra Leone Project Update: Developing a Commodity Dashboard to Track Medicine Stock and Related Health Data
To take systems strengthening support to the next level, SIAPS is introducing a web-based enhanced information graphic display platform. The dashboard features data from each health facility and supply structure and will provide real-time access to patient and commodity information. The end goal is for the dashboard to be used to visualize graphic data on health programs, patient uptake, and stock status in about 1,300 health facilities in all districts of the country.
SIAPS recently helped train 55 hospital staff on how to use a new and improved patient chart in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The training, which took place May 6 at the University of Sierra Leone Teaching Hospital Complex at Connaught Hospital, was attended by 15 doctors, 35 nurses, and 5 pharmacists. The SIAPS team in Sierra […]
To learn more about SIAPS program activities worldwide, please read our annual report for program year 6.
Project dates: January 2012 – September 2017
A presentation by Mohan P. Joshi, Principal Technical Advisor and Lead for Pharmaceutical Services, SIAPS, at USAID in Arlington, VA […]