Yaoundé, Cameroon: Under this year’s theme, “Pharmacies united in action for a healthier world,” the U.S. government (USG) joined the Cameroon National Order of Pharmacists to celebrate World Pharmacists Day at a conference in Douala on September 23 with the participation of officials from the Cameroon Ministry of Public Health. The USG is committed to strengthening public-private partnership and supports the Ministry’s efforts to continue the decentralization of HIV/AIDS antiretroviral drugs (ARV) dispensation to include private pharmacies.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) representative a.i, Allan Reed stated: “With USG financial support, the Ministry of Public Health, in collaboration with its technical and financial partners including the Cameroon National Order of Pharmacists, developed and validated guidelines on the dispensing of ARVs in private pharmacies; operational tools for creating demand, enrollment, management of health information; and monitoring and evaluation of this differentiated model of care. Training of trainers has already taken place and 40 pharmacists and pharmacy staff in the cities of Yaoundé and Douala have received training. The actual dispensation of ARVs through private pharmacies is scheduled to start on October 1, 2022.”
The U.S. government, through USAID, works in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health in delivering HIV/AIDS and Malaria commodities to health facilities without delays. USAID has helped train 100 pharmacists and assistants from the North and Far North regions in inventory management. As a result, the decentralized distribution will improve access to HIV/AIDS care by decreasing customer wait times at health facilities and increase health outcomes. It will also align and complement existing community-based distribution models. In 2022, USAID invested up to $15 million (7 billion FCFA) for the procurement of pharmaceutical products and supply chain systems. This investment helped strengthen supply chain capacity in about 800 health facilities in Cameroon. USAID also worked to improve practices for ordering health products through the training of pharmacists and some pharmacies’ staff in more than 300 health facilities spread throughout the national territory. The training included the online ordering process for HIV/AIDS commodities.
The U.S. government welcomes the ratification by Cameroon of the treaty establishing the African Medicines Agency and encourages the creation of a Cameroonian Medicines Agency. USAID provides technical support for the development and validation of the draft decree establishing this agency, which is a major priority for the Cameroon Ministry of Public Health and the National Order of Pharmacists. USAID also helps to strengthen Cameroon’s health supply chain and supports the Ministry of Public Health in revising the pharmaceutical legislation.
For more information on USAID’s activities in Cameroon, visit: https://www.usaid.gov/cameroon