In Bangladesh, MTaPS is using integrated, innovative, and sustainable strategies to strengthen the country’s pharmaceutical system to help eliminate medicine stock-outs and shortages and promote appropriate use of medicines and related products. The work supports essential services for maternal and child health, family planning and reproductive health, and TB. MTaPS is also working to improve the country’s capacity to regulate the pharmaceutical sector, steward the use of antimicrobials, and make the best use of financial resources.
Activities support the Government’s 4th Health, Population, and Nutrition Sector Program (2017–2022) objectives as well as USAID’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy for achieving universal health coverage. The program works closely with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) and its key directorates and health programs to ensure sustainable ownership of activities and tools.
MTaPS focuses on the following technical areas:
Improving procurement and supply chain governance and efficiency
Implementing and sustaining MTaPS-supported interventions and tools on a national scale requires well-functioning governing bodies with the mandates, capacity, and motivation to provide appropriate stewardship and oversight. MTaPS is helping the restructured MOHFW build its ability to effectively carry out Procurement and Logistics Management Cell oversight functions for procurement and supply chain activities. The program is also assisting the MOHFW to implement a strategy to improve and modernize procurement processes and supporting its directorates to better coordinate procurement of essential medicines and other medical products to maximize efficiencies.
Expanding the reach of digital tools and information use
MTaPS is working with country stakeholders to update, increase interoperability, scale up, and institutionalize improved electronic tools that align with and enable modern procurement and logistics management practices, support data-driven decision making, and promote transparency. These include a supply chain management portal; an electronic asset management system; an electronic logistics management information system for tracking priority MNCH medicines; and e-TB Manager, a case management tool. To promote the successful scale-up and sustainability of these tools, the program supports activities such as blended learning on maintaining and updating the tools to further build the capacity of leadership and staff at all health system levels.
Strengthening the pharmaceutical regulatory system
MTaPS technical assistance includes supporting the Directorate General of Drug Administration to implement its strategic plan to improve key regulatory processes; capacitating staff to use streamlined procedures that match international best practices; and scaling up the use of electronic tools, including for medicine registration. Improving adverse event reporting and data use and introducing TB drug active surveillance are other areas of support.
Enhancing multisectoral coordination on antimicrobial resistance
To advance effective multisectoral coordination on antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention and control, MTaPS is helping to facilitate stakeholder engagement under the leadership of the line director for Communicable Disease Control at the Directorate General of Health Services.
Improving financial resource mobilization, allocation, and use
MTaPS is working with the MOHFW’s Health Economic Unit to conduct a costing analysis to support rational allocation of medical and surgical requisites.