Programs targeted at increasing access to and rational use of medicines need to be complemented by an advocacy approach that seeks to increase the priority given to access to medicines issues. Likewise, faith-based institutions need to increase their visibility as professional and viable partners in health service provision and advocate for better integration in public health systems. EPN seeks to develop a more systematic approach
to raising the priority of access issues on national health agendas and raising the profile of the pharmaceutical services offered by FBOs. EPN is also in a strong position to establish monitoring and response mechanisms for key developments in the pharmaceutical sector that impact adversely on the faith sector.
Strategic objective: increase the priority given to access to medicines issues in faith-based health systems and national health systems.
Lobby faith-based institutions to put more emphasis on the health and cost saving benefits of the rational use of medicines and promote treatment literacy training for church leaders;
Partner with faith-based institutions, other network members, ecumenical and other partners outside the network to influence national, regional and international discussions on policies related to access to and rational use of medicines;
Facilitate engagement between network members and national and local governments on issues of access to, rational use of, and quality of medicines;
Promote and publicize the successes, innovations and contributions of EPN members in pharmaceutical services within and beyond the network;
Support the establishment and operation of drugs and therapeutics committees in focus countries;
Facilitate linkages between partners in focus countries and pharmaceutical manufacturers offering concession or access prices on selected products to ensure that countries benefit from these schemes.
CAFPAworkshop report June 2016
CAFPA Project Overal report
If EPN’s programs are to be sustainable, those efforts need to be complemented with professionalism and good governance in faith-based health systems to deliver efficient and effective pharmacy services. EPN will therefore need to continue strengthening the capacity of pharmaceutical personnel within the network for effective pharmaceutical service delivery and creating linkages to increase the effectiveness of these efforts.
(1) promote and enhance professionalism and good governance through training and education,
(2) support the delivery of efficient and effective pharmaceutical services among faith-based health systems.
Develop and disseminate comprehensive guidelines for pharmaceutical supply management and standards for pharmacy services;
Perform capacity building and skills development activities for pharmacy services;
Facilitate exchange of best practices in pharmacy services among network members;
Promote issues of professionalism, transparency and good governance among leaders in faith-based health systems.
Information about the role and impact of FBOs in the provision of health services is essential to increasing the visibility of FBOs as professional and viable partners in health service provision. A strong evidence base on the various aspects of the provision of pharmaceutical services by faith-based health institutions and their role in the broader health system is critical to identifying ways to improve access to and the rational use of medicines.
EPN seeks to help build this evidence base, which is currently lacking. EPN also aims to support its members by serving as a channel of credible and relevant information regarding trends and policies related to pharmaceutical services and supply management.
It also will facilitate contact and knowledge exchanges between the members of the network. Additionally EPN will continue to share pharmaceutical information on medicines both for prescribers and users, creating a center of excellence, fostering rational use of drugs. These information sources can help faith-based institutions improve the quality of services they provide.
Strategic objective: provide information on pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical supply management and pharmacy services to network members, and conduct relevant research for and on the use of pharmaceuticals and service provision in the church health system.
Partner with academic and other institutions to conduct relevant research on pharmaceutical access, use and management systems, and service provision in faith-based facilities;
Develop and maintain a registry of consultants among network members and facilitate consulting services within the network and externally;
Encourage and facilitate members to share their experiences and best practices within the network and externally;
Improve the network’s website and encourage members to integrate EPN related guidelines, standards, and information on their websites.
In most developing countries, expenditure on medicines is the highest component of household health-related expenditures. NCDs usually require chronic treatment, which can put an enormous strain on household budgets and cause catastrophic health expenditures. EPN seeks to implement activities that will increase access to and appropriate use of affordable quality-assured medicines to treat NCDs. This will help to reduce the financial and health burden on households and the health system, and improve the quality of life for those afflicted with NCDs.
Strategic objective: promote awareness of NCDs and facilitate increased access and rational use of affordable quality-assured medicines for NCDs.
Promote the adoption and implementation of policies for the prioritization and rational selection of medicines, including palliatives, for NCDs;
Build capacity of partner DSOs for procurement and supply of NCD medicines;
Promote pricing control and the prescribing of generic medicines for NCDs;
Establish quality assurance systems to monitor and increase the quality of locally manufactured generic medicines to treat NCDs;
Develop information packages for rational diagnosis and treatment guidelines and training of health workers in faith-based health systems, to facilitate increased access to NCD treatments and medicines.
Child and maternal causes of morbidity and mortality continue to be among the top drivers of health loss in most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. These causes of morbidity and mortality are often preventable. However, insufficient supply of high quality commodities; poor regulation of these commodities and the lack of access and awareness of how, why and when to use them, are the main barriers to the access and appropriate use of medicines and health supplies for MCH. EPN seeks to address these barriers in faith-based health systems to help decrease the disease burden associated with MCH.
Strategic Objective: facilitate the ability of faith-based health systems to provide quality pharmaceutical services to increase access to and use of medicines and supplies for maternal, newborn and child health.
Conduct baseline assessments on availability and use maternal and child health medicines and services at faith-based health institutions;
Raise awareness among church leaders about the burden of maternal and child illnesses;
Advocate for the prioritization of medicines and supplies to treat maternal and child health illnesses at faith-based health facilities;
Increase access to family planning knowledge and methods at faith-based health institutions;
Facilitate pooled procurements and other mechanisms to enhance availability of essential medicines to treat maternal and child illnesses;
Develop guidelines and train pharmacy staff on the proper use of pediatric formulations and other pharmaceutical commodities.