Preventing Drug Shortages With Cell Phones in Malawi
BALAKA, Malawi — Ishmael Katanga’s clinic is a small, two-room mud hut in southern Malawi that serves approximately 3,000 local residents. He sees roughly 15-20 patients per day, usually children under 5 years old suffering from malnutrition, malaria, dehydration and diarrhea. In treating these preventable diseases, one of Katanga’s biggest setbacks is access to medication and supplies.
Often, he has to turn patients away or encourage them to come back at a later time to receive their necessary medication. This scenario is common in rural clinics, where supplies and medications are scarce, causing what is known as a “stock out.”
Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) receive training on the cStock system.
That’s why the Malawi Ministry of Health (MOH), in partnership with public health research organizations such as John Snow, Inc. (JSI), has developed a mobile health program called cStock. It’s part of a larger project with the goal of finding affordable, simple and sustainable supply chain solutions that address the unique challenges of community health workers.
(From PBS NewsHour)