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U.S. government supports public pharmacies to improve services countrywide

U.S. government supports public pharmacies to improve services countrywide

By Michel Haoses.

For many pharmacists the day-to-day business and the high number of patients leave little time for training in key areas such as medicine safety and health commodity management, but the passion for delivering excellent service drives pharmacists like Anna Naukushu in the quest for knowledge.

Growing up in Otaukondjele, a village in the northern parts of the Ohangwena region, Naukushu always wanted to help those in need “When I visited the hospital and saw all those people in pain, I vowed that one day I will be able to help,” she said.

True to her word, Naukushu pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Pharmacy serving as the link between patients and cure, although her dream comes with many challenges related to a consistently busy schedule of serving many different kinds of people.

To assist all public pharmacies all over the country the Ministry of Health and Social Services conducts support visits to all 14 regions of the country with funding from the U.S. through the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Global Health Supply Chain Programme (GHSC) helping countries achieve a stronger resilient health supply chain.

The visits led by the Ministry include GHSC staff and senior pharmacists, the team helps pharmacists in their daily working environment which allows for case-by-case troubleshooting as some facilities may have a problem with electronic dispensing tools, infrastructure or human resources, communication or logistics, or may experience bottlenecks in processes.

Additionally, the team also assesses the performance of the hospitals and primary facilities. They inspect areas like warehouse and cold chain management to ensure that medicines that need to be kept below a certain temperature maintain their quality but also inspect quantification, inventory management, and Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) services.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services uses these visits as a key tool to further develop their policies as they allow for differentiation between what has been reported and the actual situation on the ground, explained Naita Nghishekwa the Health Ministry’s Director of Pharmaceutical Services.

She further highlighted that while some issues can be addressed at the facilities, there are also learned lesson that have an impact on the national level where policy recommendations are made.

Naukushu, thankful and happy for the expert support she receives as she now does not have to leave her workstation stated “At the end of the day, when I am home listening to my gospel music, I know that I am providing the best possible service to my clients. So, my dream has come true”.

 Anna Naukushu dispensing medication at her pharmacy.


About The Author


The Economist accommodates two interns every year, one per semester. They are given less demanding, softer issues to hone their skills, often with a specific leaning to social issues. Today, many of our interns are respected journalists or career professionals at economic and financial institutions. - Ed.