Capacity Needs Assessment for Pharmaceutical Services for the ART Program in Lesotho
(2013; 45 pages)

Wang, S., N. Hoohlo, I. Tshabalala, K. Ntoi, and T. Sepetla. 2013. Capacity Needs Assessment for Pharmaceutical Services for the ART Program in Lesotho. Submitted to the US Agency for International Development by the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program. Arlington, VA: Management Sciences for Health.


The objectives of the assessment were to identify the numbers and skills of the health care workers (HCWs) for the provision of ART pharmaceutical services; identify the gaps in the capacity of staff in the ART program in the country; recommend the required capacity of staff in the ART program to ensure good quality service provision; and make recommendations to policy makers on how to efficiently make use of available personnel to maximize their efficiency. The assessment was a descriptive cross-sectional study. Data were collected in August 2012 at 95 HFs in five districts. Five District Pharmaceutical Officers (DPOs), a DCD Pharmacy officer, and the procurement and logistics officers at the National Drug Service Organization (NDSO) also participated in the assessment.

Effective pharmaceutical human resources planning requires an evidence-based approach that is needs based and informed by reliable information. The needs will be determined by the human resources strategies or the service targets. The MOH of Lesotho strategically uses nursing staff at the primary HFs to maximize their efficiency for all health care services. The pharmacy professionals also serve not only ART but also other programs and general pharmaceutical services. By using the criteria suggested by Hirschhorn et al. (9), the human resources for ART service alone would be marginally sufficient. However, adding general pharmaceutical services, HFs are clearly understaffed. The information in this assessment is insufficient to project the human resources needs for integrated health services. Therefore, to effectively project and plan the human resources, more information is needed with a holistic projection approach.

In summary, the capacity-building and system-strengthening strategy through the ART program will contribute to the improvement of the general system. DSM is a cross-cutting area, and the MOH supervisors should educate the HCWs to apply their DSM capacity across programs and provide nonfinancial awards to those performing well to recognize and appreciate their efforts.

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