Management Of Commodities For Health Programs
The Anti-Retroviral program started in NWRFHP PIG in 1998 and in 2004, the treatment (refilling) was transferred to external health units due to a drastic increase in the number of patients. Nevetheless, the NWRFHP PIG continued to receive, store and distribute PMTCT and ARV drugs to these health centres. Today reception, storage and distribution of PMTCT and ARVs is implemented with the assistance of the state, the Global Fund, PEPFER and USAID.
The United States Agency for Internation Development (USAID) and Pharmaceutical Supply Management (PSM) funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program, implemented by MSH in collaboration with NWRFHP PIG supports the HIV program to ensure constant availability of commodities for the HIV program. The role of NWRFHP PIG is to receive, store and distribute HIV drugs procured by PEPFAR for the PMTCT and ACT (Accelerating Children’s Treatment) programs. It is also to accompany HIV treatment centers to improve on challenges still faced in data and logistics managment of HIV/AIDS commodities for sustainability of activities. To properly play this role the NWRFHP PIG communicates constantly with the suppliers for PEPFAR to keep track of the movement of commodities destined for the North West Region, allocate space for storage of these commodities and prepares a distribution plan for the medicines to 350 health facilities. It also carries out two supportive supervision and feedback visits to all the times of the year.
The greatest difficulty in the management of these commodities have been that of stockout of some key molecules especially for paediatrics. As at December 2017, Cotrimoxazole 120 mg has been out of stock September 2017. Also, medicines for third line treatment are not available meanwhile there is increasing request for them by treatment centres. Another problem is the delay by health units to understand and align with the integrated supply policy of the Fund such that as essential medicines are being carried to the sites, they are carried alongside ARV, PMTCT and anti-TB commodities. Moreover, most personnel managing the commodities do not master how to request for medicines properly and as such find themselves coming for medicines 4 to 5 times a year.