A precondition for the achievement of Millennium Development Goals 4 and 61 is the availability of essential medicines for children. Infant and
under-five mortality rates are estimated at 50 and 80 respectively per 1000 births2. Most of these deaths
are caused by diseases that could be prevented, treated, or managed by access to safe,
essential childspecific medicines. Child-specific medicines are those manufactured to suit the age,
physical condition, and body weight of the child taking them. Efficient medicines supply
systems are crucial in ensuring access to child-specific medicines in developing countries.
The Better Medicines for Children (BMC) project takes into consideration an
in-depth assessment of the public supply system for the supply of child-specific
medicines. The main goals of the assessment are to:
- identify the extent of availability of child-specific medicines in the
public supply system;
- analyze the national supply system within the context of supply
management functions; and
- identify the strengths and weaknesses of the system with respect to
The assessment of the public supply chain for child-specific medicines was
done through structured interviews using World Health Organization (WHO) standard tools
adapted to fit the child-specific medicines context for Ghana.
The country was divided into three areas. One assessment site was identified
in each of the three areas. Structured, in-depth interviews were done at each survey site.
Qualitative analysis was done on data collected under 11 thematic areas, namely: general
supply systems; selection of products; quantification of needs; procurement; ordering;
storage/stock management; distribution; quality assurance; financing; information management;
and monitoring and evaluation...