Performance Evaluation of Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) Program - Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
(2015; 127 pages)


A strong pharmaceutical sector is essential for Afghanistan considering the current status of population health and the burden of disease. Afghanistan continues to face high infant and child mortality, primarily due to treatable conditions such as upper respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases. The burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is also growing, with Afghanistan ranking the worst in premature mortality due to heart disease, depression, and diabetes, in comparison to competitor countries.

The pharmaceutical sector in Afghanistan consists of a largely donor-dependent public sector and an unregulated private sector. Management Systems for Health (MSH)—through its Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) Program— has been providing technical assistance and support to the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to improve the pharmaceutical system since 2008. In August 2011, USAID awarded an Associate Award to MSH under the SPS Program to build capacity to effectively manage all aspects of pharmaceutical systems and services. On August 27, 2015, the current iteration of the SPS program will come to an end, and USAID is planning for a follow-on project to begin shortly thereafter. USAID will contribute on-budget support to the World Bank’s System Enhancement for Health Action in Transition (SEHAT) Program.

The purpose of this evaluation is to assess the effectiveness of the SPS program in improving and strengthening various strategic components of the pharmaceutical sector in Afghanistan, including regulatory and quality assurance systems, supply chain management, pharmaceutical management information systems (PMIS), human resource capacity, the delivery of pharmaceutical services, and the rational use of medicines.

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