Improving access to medicine and delivering quality medicines were the two main objectives of HPIC’s project in Afghanistan, which ended June 30.
The Capacity Building and Access to Medicine project was funded by the Canadian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and International Development and was done in partnership with the Afghan Ministry of Public Health.
“Over the course of the project, we provided 306,423 treatments and improved Afghanistan’s pharmaceutical supply chain,” said Maryanne Mutch, HPIC’s Executive Director, Programs. “This was done through training personnel, improving inventory management systems, developing and implementing standard operating procedures, developing tools and purchasing much-needed equipment.”
Some examples of the project’s improvements in capacity include helping hospitals forecast their medicine needs and monitor usage, testing twice as many medicines entering the country, almost doubling the capacity of the Central Medical Stores facility, and increasing the efficiency and knowledge of pharmacists at nine partner hospitals and clinics in Kabul.
A major advancement was guiding the Central Medical Stores and the Pharmaceutical Donations Office (both departments of the Ministry of Public Health working at the national level) in the move from paper-based systems to working with customized digital databases.
“This was the most complex and largest-scale project HPIC has managed in our almost 25-year history,” said Glen Shepherd, President of HPIC. “We are proud of our team in Kabul and Montreal and what they were able to accomplish over the last four years.”
“Medicines are reaching more patients, staff in the Afghan health system feel better equipped to do their job and encouraged by the support we offered,” Mutch said. “Ultimately, accessing good quality medicine means that Afghans have a better quality of life, and higher life expectancy. There is also less pressure on the overall health system.”
The Afghan project was supported by 30 Canadian healthcare companies who donated close to $5 million in medicines, natural health products, and medical supplies to 9 partner hospitals and clinics in Kabul.
HPIC’s team is working to apply the tools and features of the successful Afghan project to new project proposals. “We feel that our Capacity Building and Access to Medicines project could be adapted to benefit other communities around the word,” said Shepherd.
PDF Version: HPIC Infographic Strengthening Health Systems