Coordinating the Management of Essential Medicines in Mali

The National Pharmaceutical Policy (NPP) of Mali aims to ensure equitable access to and the rational use of essential medicines. 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 with key regional employees on the management of essential drugs and health inputs. The purpose of the meeting was to identify bottlenecks in the health system that impeded 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 conclusions reached will have a significant impact on access to essential medicines for the people of Mali. Recommendations include:

  • The evaluation of commodities should be based on consumption and overstocks should be re-deployed to areas experiencing stock-outs. Levels of free or subsidized commodities, such as anti-malarial medication and contraceptives, are overstocked in some areas and understocked in others.
  • 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 standard operating procedures.