Coordinating the Management of Essential Medicines in Mali

The National Pharmaceutical Policy (NPP) of Mali aims to ensure equitable access of essential medicines and promote their rational use for the people of Mali. This requires not only a good logistical management information system, but also coordination among key actors.

In May 2014 Mali’s Regional Health Department in Segou, with the support of SIAPS/Mali, held its first quarterly meeting on the management of essential drugs and health inputs with vital health personnel in the region. The purpose of the meeting was to identify bottlenecks in the health system that impede access to essential medicines and to propose solutions to remove the hindrances.

Participants in the consultation included the regional director of health, district health officials, hospital CEOs, physicians, and pharmacists.

The decisions made at this consultation will have a significant impact on access to essential medicines in Mali. It was decided that:

  • Levels of free or subsidized commodities, such as anti-malarial medication and contraceptives, are overstocked in some areas and understocked in others. Each area should evaluate the commodities based on consumption and re-deploy overstocks to areas with stock-outs.
  • The head physician at the district level should write a letter to the responsible party for those not conforming to the requirements of the Essential Medicines Supply and Distribution Plan (Schéma Directeur d’Approvisionnement et de Distribution des Médicaments Essentiels, or SDADME).
  • Each area needs to back up its records on stock management in accordance with the standard operating procedures.