251530 Making malaria medicines available: Adapting the supply chain to respond to the unique characteristics of the disease and medicines used to control it

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 9:06 AM

Lisa Hare, MPH , John Snow International, Arlington, VA
Malaria causes between 300 and 500 million illnesses and up to 1 millions deaths a year, 90 percent of which are in children under five and occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past decade, the global community has pledged to reduce malaria deaths to near zero by 2015. With this pledge came significant resources for procuring malaria medicines including artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) and other antimalarials. However, the ability of in-country supply chains to manage these products and ensure their ability to reach those in need has been mixed and is one of the major bottlenecks in achieving the ambitious global goal.

The USAID | DELIVER PROJECT has been working with a number of African countries to improve their management of malaria commodities, both through strengthening the supply chain and adapting it to respond to the unique characteristics of the disease and the products used to control it. The disease characteristics include seasonality, significant disease burden, rapid onset in children, and changing epidemiology from endemic to epidemic. The ACT characteristics are bulky packaging, storage requirements of below 30 degrees Celsius, packaged in four presentations based on weight, and a relatively short shelf life of 24 to 26 months. In this presentation, we will share how Zambia was able to improve the performance of the malaria supply chain improving availability of antimalarials at health facilities. We will also present other approaches to adapting the supply chain to respond to the unique needs of ACTs and disease characteristics such as seasonality.

Learning Areas:
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the various disease and drug characteristics that pose challenges to securing and strengthening in-country, antimalarial supply chains. Describe the strategy that was used to in Zambia to strengthen the in-country supply chain and improve the availability of antimalarials at local health facilities. Present additional evidence based practices for adapting the supply chain to respond to the unique needs of ACTs and the challenging characteristics of malaria.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the research for this presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.