The President's Malaria Initiative is filling a critical supply gap in Ghana

At the Accra Airport in Ghana, a USAID | DELIVER PROJECTstaff member, Albert Nettey, holds up one packet of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), used to treat malaria. Together, the project and the President's Malaria Initiative procured 1.1 million doses, which filled a critical supply gap.
One-hundred percent of Ghanaians are susceptible to malaria. According to the 2008 World Malaria Report, Ghana reports more than seven million cases of malaria each year, which affect mostly children under five and pregnant women. All these cases can only be treated if sufficient quantities of the correct antimalarial drugs are available.

Supported by the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, managed by John Snow, Inc. in collaboration with the National Malaria Control Program of the Ghana Health Services and the Ministry of Health, prepared a national forecast and procurement plan for antimalarial drugs to be distributed to the public sector. During this activity, a two-year plan was designed to determine all the malaria medications that would be required, identify existing gaps, and create a schedule that described which group—PMI, the Government of Ghana (GOG), or the Global Fund (GF)—would provide the antimalarial medications. A selected group of local technical staff received training in quantification to prepare them to carry out this task in the future.

During the quantification process, future consumption was forecast and a cost estimate was produced to optimize efficiency and minimize waste. The estimate was then compared to the available funding to identify possible financial gaps. The project, PMI, and the GOG identified imminent stockouts for all the malaria medications for uncomplicated and complicated malaria, as well as intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women. A review and update of the forecasts and procurement plans confirmed the country requirements, potential stockouts, and financial shortfalls; this precipitated a formal request from the GOG to PMI for support until funding from the Global Fund Round 8 malaria grant was available. Based on the findings of the report, PMI complied with the request, and initiated plans to increase malaria commodity supplies beyond its initial plans.

PMI and the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT placed an emergency order for malaria medications to fill the gap until a Global Fund order could be made. This shipment arrived on time and will be officially handed over to Ghana’s Central Medical Stores for immediate distribution to health facilities nationwide.

“It is certain,” said Dr. Constance Bart-Plange (Program Manager, National Malaria Control Program), “that without this quantification exercise, our antimalarial shortfall would not have been realized in time and facilities would have experienced stockouts.”

PMI Senior Advisor Dr. Paul Psychas confirmed,“Without these drugs, thousands of lives would have been lost to malaria.”