Bangladesh has made great strides forward in supply management for health commodities over the past few decades. Stock-outs of key commodities for TB, family planning, and maternal and child health have decreased at the national level. However, much systems-strengthening work remains to be done to ensure an uninterrupted flow of safe, quality medicines and supplies to service delivery points. Regulatory and medicine safety systems, including medicine registration and pharmacovigilance, in many cases do not yet meet the international standards necessary to protect public health.
Following on the work of the USAID-funded Strengthening Pharmaceutical Services (SPS) Program, SIAPS Program has been working in Bangladesh since September 2011 with the goal of improving availability of quality medicines and effective pharmaceutical services to achieve desired health outcomes. To this end, SIAPS partners with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) and its key directorates: the Directorate General of Family Planning; the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS); the Central Medical Stores Depot; the National TB Program; the National Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health Program; and the Directorate-General of Drug Administration (DGDA). SIAPS Program’s expanded support to the MOHFW has strengthened the ability of policy makers, health care providers and institutions to improve commodity management, particularly in regards to governance, procurement, institutional capacity building, and other systems-strengthening initiatives that have helped to ensure the continuous availability of health commodities.
SIAPS has improved governance, strengthened regulatory systems, and maximized the efficiency of the procurement and distribution of medical commodities through interventions including:
- The establishment of the Procurement and Logistics Management Cell, which has improved coordination of MOHFW procurement and supply chain functions.
- The implementation of the Supply Chain Management Portal, a SIAPS-supported health information system tool that was documented as a “game-changer” in improving procurement efficiency in the 2014 mid-term review of the MOHFW Health, Population and Nutrition Sector Development Program 2011-16.
- The roll-out of e-TB Manager, a SIAPS-developed electronic recording and reporting system for TB, to 210 sites, improving timeliness, completeness and accuracy of routine reporting.
- The upgrade of DGDA’s Adverse Drug Reaction Monitoring Cell to serve as the National Drug Monitoring Centre for Bangladesh—an action that has resulted in full membership in the World Health Organization’s International Drug Monitoring Center.
Within the remainder of the project period, SIAPS will focus on increasing country ownership in all its interventions, emphasizing policy formulation, local capacity building and the development of an accountability framework.
The USAID-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program worked with the DGFP to successfully implement a nationwide, web-enabled logistics management information system with a dashboard to track the stock status of contraceptives at 29,200 SDPs. View the video below.