The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a country characterized by numerous public health challenges. This situation follows decades of civil war and unrest, which, coupled with inadequate allocation of human and financial resources to the health sector resulted in a fragmented public health delivery system throughout the country, with an inconsistent availability of essential medicines.
Prior to the start of the SIAPS Program, the USAID-funded Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) Program worked towards developing guidelines and standard operating procedures, leading to the establishment of a Drug Registration Committee and drug registration database. SPS also assisted on integrating family planning commodities into the National Program for the Supply of Medicines, strengthened the pharmaceutical governance and regulatory capacity in 4 USAID-supported provinces, and the creation of Provincial Pharmaceutical Committees and Drug and Therapeutics Communities.
Building on SPS’ work, SIAPS aims to assure the availability of quality pharmaceutical products and effective pharmaceutical services to achieve desired health outcomes. The SIAPS objective is to promote and utilize a systems strengthening approach consistent with the Global Health Initiative (GHI) that will result in improved and sustainable health impact. SIAPS will provide “next generation” technical leadership and assistance to developing countries in pharmaceutical system strengthening with a deliberate focus on patient-centered services and health outcomes for all Health Elements.
Additionally, SIAPS will assist USAID and partner country to reconcile the long-term goals of country ownership, system strengthening and sustainability with the immediate requirements for continuing scale-up and expansion of prevention and treatment programs without adversely affecting health outcomes. These goals will be achieved through strengthening the pharmaceutical sector governance, increasing and enhancing the capacity for pharmaceutical supply management and services, increasing accessibility to pharmaceutical management information for decision-making, strengthening finance strategies and mechanisms to improve access to medicines, and improving overall pharmaceutical services to achieve the desired health outcomes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.