NGOs were shown to be very important in drug distribution and supply in all three countries, distributing more than 20% of all drugs. The major NGOs involved in this activity were mission-based NGOs, and self-financed to a high degree (approximately 75%).
NGOs, the MoH in Kenya, the MoH in Uganda, the MoH in Malawi and WHO country offices, are generally positive about the idea of greater interaction and collaboration in drug distribution and supply. Thus, one of the preconditions for collaboration has been fulfilled. In all three countries, the personal perception of NGOs, the MoH and the national drug programme proved to be a major factor in collaborative work, and even more important than the existence of an actual policy concerning NGOs. In Kenya and Uganda, regular coordination meetings between the different stakeholders involved in drug distribution and supply have been initiated, showing that the stakeholders, including NGOs, are interested in streamlining their activities.
The country studies showed that the preconditions for involvement of NGOs at country level by HQ programmes and WHO country offices have not necessarily been met, and that agreements and knowledge accumulated at international level do not necessarily flow down to country level. Given that interaction between NGOs and WHO is currently non-existent or minimal, NGOs wanted to know how WHO could help them in their work. The research highlighted furthermore that it would be possible to initiate collaboration between stakeholders, and that NGOs are interested in closer interaction with the national drug programme of their country, the MoH and WHO. The analysis also highlighted the fact that, since an explicit programme policy for working with NGOs at WHO regional level is lacking, WHO country offices currently do little to promote collaboration with NGOs in their own country.