Next week, Congressional staff will gain first-hand exposure to the local impact of U.S. funded health capacity strengthening in South Africa and Zambia during our study tour. During the trip, MSH will display local health capacity building through pharmaceutical management and technical and managerial development opportunities for local health workers. During the week, delegates will visit sites, meet with local health leadership, and participate in panel discussions with local experts that will highlight how international development funding, local government-led initiatives, and programs initiated by local partners have led to better health outcomes for communities.
The delegates will gain an in-depth understanding of the pharmaceutical supply chain and management mechanisms by visiting regional and local pharmaceutical procurement and distribution centers. Visits to Mokapane hospital, the Limpopo Pharmaceutical Depot, the Tshikuwi Clinic, loveLife support site, and Medical Stores, LTD., among others, will give staffers deep insight into the on-the-ground implementation of pharmaceutical management and civil society engagement in health programs. Delegates will learn about the implementation of the Pharmaceutical Leadership Development Programme (PLDP), Community Service Pharmacist program (CSP), RxSolution, and other pharmaceutical management and capacity building programs implemented through the USAID-funded, MSH-led Systems for Improving Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program and Building Local Capacity for Delivery of HIV Services in Southern Africa (BLC) Project.
As middle income countries, South Africa and Zambia offer a unique perspective into the impact of health systems strengthening and the increasing capacity of the national ministries of health to manage health delivery systems. One of USAID’s largest health programs takes place in South Africa and focuses on leadership, governance, and capacity building. South Africa showcases a growing network of civil society and local governments, as well as significant health initiatives, including National Health Insurance. Additionally, South Africa has become a model of decentralization in the health sector, providing staffers an opportunity to explore the unique benefits and challenges posed by decentralization. Zambia is at a critical stage of its development as it establishes its footing as a lower middle income country while taking on additional country ownership efforts in the health sector. Staffers will learn the challenges in building health systems in a relatively weak national health system with major deficits in its healthcare workforce and infrastructure.
Stay tuned throughout the week to learn more about the study tour, capacity building, and pharmaceutical management as we post daily recaps, blogs, and photos.