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.