An Analysis of WHO Guidelines for Drug Donations for Better Donation Practice in Emergency Situations
(2011; 40 pages)

Abstract

In disasters and emergency situations, usually a lot of drug and medical supplies comes to the affected area from local or international donors. But, those donations often generate more problems for the recipients.

In response to the issue, the WHO and major humanitarian organisations developed WHO Guidelines for Drug Donations in 1996. The guidelines based on four core principles which are all donation should benefit the recipient, respect for wishes and authority of the recipient, there should not be double standard in quality, and effective communication between donor and recipient.

The guidelines influenced positively to drug donation practices for several years until 2004. The drug donation practices during 2004 tsunami relief in Sri Lanka and Aceh (Indonesia) showed that the compliance with WHO Guidelines for Drug Donations were low.

This study aim is to strengthen the effectiveness of WHO Guidelines for Drug Donations in disaster and emergency situations. While the objectives are to assess or examine the effectiveness of guidelines for drug donations by using the case studies of Sri Lanka and Indonesia, to explore the strength and weakness of the WHO Guidelines for Drug Donations and to recommend how to improve the effectiveness of drug donations.

In this study, the WHO Guidelines for Drug Donations were analysed using the model of health policy analysis from Walt and Gilson. This model framework is specifically used for analysing health policies. The framework is viewed as a tool to describe the interactions and interconnections systems between content, context, process and groups of actors.

There were several issues that support the implementation of the WHO Guidelines for Drug Donations which are presence of expressed list of medicines or national essential medicines list and existence of official government agency for medicine standardisation in recipient countries. On the other hand, there were some issues that hindered the application of the WHO Guidelines for Drug Donations such as some guidelines provisions that difficult to be implemented or can be misinterpreted, and existence of other guidelines or statement that contrary to the WHO Guidelines for Drug Donations’ provisions.

The author concludes that presence of donation operator team for drug donations is needed during the emergency situations and it should be stated in the WHO Guidelines for Drug Donations. The WHO needs to encourage donors and recipients to refer to WHO Guidelines for Drug Donations when they are making their own guidelines. The guidelines can be strengthen at country level and adjusted to regulations in the countries.

Based on the analysis, some recommendations are suggested. The WHO Guidelines for Drug Donations should state that donations are preferred in form of New Emergency Health Kit (NEHK) or cash donations, and the necessity of information and communication centre in the WHO Guidelines for Drug Donations.

 
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