Supporting a broader Africa Resource Center (ARC) project by leveraging the learnings from South Africa’s differentiated service delivery model to support the Ministry of Health in improving the availability of key chronic medicines.
Taking note of the success South Africa has had in scaling innovative medicine distribution systems to improve patient access to medicines and decongest health facilities, Uganda has taken this approach and adapted it for its local context. One of the ways South Africa is tackling the challenge of getting medicines to so many patients with chronic illnesses is through its Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) Programme. The CCMDD centralises both the dispensing of medicines and their distribution to a designated and convenient pick-up point that each enrolled patient selects. The pick-up point might be a cooperating retail pharmacy, a private clinic, a nongovernmental organisation, or a community-based organisation like a church.
At a knowledge sharing conference on differentiated service delivery for HIV in 2018, representatives of Uganda’s Ministry of Health and AIDS Control Programme attended a presentation of the CCMDD business case. The clear benefits of alternative distribution channels appealed to the Ugandan delegation. They decided to pursue the idea in a way that worked within their local context, collaborating with the National Drug Authority and the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda to revise policies and regulations that might hinder a DSDM approach.
Project Last Mile worked with ARC to share learnings from CCMDD in South Africa that could be applied in Uganda.