South Sudan launches pharmacy policy and strategy
The government of South Sudan on Monday launched the Pharmaceutical Policy and Strategy which provides an overall framework for governance, regulation, and programming within the health sector which has been lacking since 2006, according to WHO.
The Pharmaceutical Policy and Strategy was developed by the ministry of health in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) to strengthen the pharmaceutical sector in South Sudan.
“It lays the foundation for building systems for sustainable access to pharmaceuticals and related health technologies,” the WHO statement read. “It prioritizes the medium- to long-term goals and strategies set by the government for the pharmaceutical sector.”
Access to medicines is a critical component of the healthcare delivery system. Hence, promoting sustainable and equitable access to medicines is the core mandate of the health ministry.
In the WHO African Region, it is estimated that about 58% of the population does not have access to medicines for non-communicable diseases, the statement said.
In South Sudan, access to essential medicines is a huge challenge. According to the 2018 Service Availability and Readiness Assessment Report, only 14% of health facilities had the recommended medicines.
“Universal Health Coverage cannot be achieved without access to safe, effective, quality, and affordable essential medicines”, said Dr. Victoria Anib Majur, the Undersecretary at the health ministry of South Sudan. “It’s important to have a strong regulatory body to ensure that we are regulating the medicines coming to the country.”
Dr. Anib urged the directorate to form a committee to implement the strategy. She acknowledged WHO’s continued support in developing policies and strategies for effective healthcare services.
On his part, Dr. Fabian Ndenzako, the WHO acting Representative in South Sudan said access to medicine is a human right.
“Access to medicines is a human right issue,” he said. “Thanks to the generous contribution of the Canadian Government, WHO supported the ministry of health to develop the pharmacy policy and strategic plan for South Sudan that promotes equity and sustainability of the pharmaceutical sector.”
The Pharmacy Strategy is a 5-year plan that is aligned with the Health Sector Strategic Plan.
According to WHO, the policy sets the standards for the safe, modern practice of pharmacy while building community confidence and providing high-quality, innovative services for patients that enhance patient care and public health.