COVID-19 has been a defining global health crisis in our journey to stronger health systems. When the outbreak of the novel coronavirus started in early 2020, it became an urgent call to rapidly mobilize responses in countries to mitigate its effects. But since then, responding to the pandemic has also opened opportunities on the sidelines to further strengthen health systems in countries for long-lasting gains like greater resilience and equitable, quality health care delivery—the goal of USAID.
Committed to fighting the pandemic and building back better, USAID tasked its Medicines, Technologies, and Pharmaceutical Services (MTaPS) program to be a partner in USAID’s global response to the pandemic.
To support USAID’s global pandemic response, MTaPS provided rapid technical assistance to 13 countries. MTaPS applied evidence-based approaches and drew upon the multisectoral coordination networks and partnerships developed through its infection prevention and control (IPC) work under the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) to rapidly build capacities of the health workforce for mitigating and managing infections. Upon approval of COVID-19 vaccines for immunization, MTaPS applied its pharmaceutical systems expertise across the spectrum—from regulatory and policy support to introduce new health technologies (such as vaccines and diagnostics) to procurement and supply chain logistics management, vaccine safety monitoring, and human resources capacity development to facilitate COVID-19 vaccine deployment.
MTaPS is aligned with the U.S. COVID-19 Global Response and Recovery Framework and supports two objectives:
Objective 1: Accelerate equitable
access to and delivery of safe
and effective COVID-19
Objective 2: Reduce morbidity and mortality from COVID-19, mitigate transmission, and strengthen health systems, including future pandemic response
Number of workers trained on
COVID-19-related IPC and/or WASH
Number of health facilities supported for IPC and/or WASH for COVID-19
Number of COVID-19 vaccine multisectoral coordination mechanisms that meet regularly
Number of policies, protocols, standards, and guidelines developed or adapted for COVID-19 vaccine deployment
Countries that improved the regulatory and/or policy environment for COVID-19 vaccines with MTaPS' support
Countries that developed or adapted COVID-19 vaccine micro plans with MTaPS' support
Number of adverse event following immunization (AEFI) reports reviewed with MTaPS support
Number of people trained on COVID-19 vaccine-related topics