Building Health Workers' Skills to Implement a New Malaria Treatment Policy in Malawi

Apr 2009
PMI provided technical support for staff training and supervision for Malawi’s NMCP and district health offices. More than 500 health workers were trained in filling out and maintaining stock cards for AL, recording actual AL consumption data in the dispensing register, and filing reports using the national logistics management information system.
 	Bernard Jali, a medical assistant in Malawi, has used the training he received on pharmaceutical management to make sure his health center is well stocked in antimalarial and other essential drugs. Source: Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems

In 2006, the Malawi MOH selected the ACT artemether-lumefantrine (AL) as its first-line drug for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria. In November 2007, Malawi officially launched the new policy countrywide; however, one of the greatest challenges to implementation of the new policy was a lack of capacity among health care workers and pharmacy personnel to manage the new treatment,particularly its storage, rational use, and inventory control,including good record-keeping and reporting.

In response to this problem, PMI provided technical support for staff training and supervision for Malawi’s NMCP and district health offices. More than 500 health workers were trained in filling out and maintaining stock cards for AL, recording actual AL consumption data in the dispensing register, and filing reports using the national logistics management information system.

Bernard Jali, a medical assistant, attended this training in April 2008 in Dedza District. When he transferred to the Kaphuka Health Centre in early June 2008, he found that,as with many health facilities in Malawi, it had poor pharmaceutical management practices. For example, stock cards to record the quantity of drugs received or issued were either nonexistent or were not updated regularly. These practices affected the quality of information that district health officers, regional medical stores, and central medical stores receive on consumption of drugs, which they need to replenish stock at the health centers.

Mr. Jali immediately applied his new knowledge to improve the management of AL. Kaphuka Health Centre now has accurate stock cards for AL, and since June 2008, the facility has submitted its AL consumption and stock-on-hand reports to the district hospital on time every month. Through his pharmaceutical management training, Mr. Jali has been able to share his knowledge and transform the way his health facility manages AL and other essential medicines, which help ensure that the health center always has the medicines it needs.

Annual Report

PMI 12th Annual Report Cover
Read the PMI Twelfth Annual Report [PDF, 2.7MB]

Newsletter

Find a collection of the most important news, stories from the field, and new resources from the past six months.

Photo of a family in front of an ITN.

View the current issue >>