Focus on capacity building workshops and exchange experiences between the program representatives fighting against HIV who are in charge of managing laboratory products in Burundi, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, and Guinea; as part of the OPP-ERA project for access to HIV viral load tests.
From March 25th to the 29th, the staff involved in the management of laboratory inputs from each country, as well as OPP-ERA’s laboratory product supply consultants/experts, met in Abidjan for a capacity building workshop and had the opportunity to share experiences. The goal of this workshop was to facilitate the transmission, before the project’s end this year, of good practices and lessons learned to national leaders so that they can later share with local staff in each country, and that the activities previously supported by the project can be durably integrated into the national agenda.
«Today, the supply and inventory management of health products is one of the key issues facing resource-limited countries. Reducing the risk of stock outages leading to treatment interruptions and measuring HIV viral load for patients, ensuring access to quality medications, ensuring the proper usage and optimal distribution of products, are equally a priority to maintain a more efficient and fair health system for all patients. » – I.Z., workshop facilitator
Good supply and inventory management practice helps secure the right environment for each country’s response to their patients’ needs of viral load testing.
Controlling the product supply cycle according to different financing channels aims to reduce the risk of stock outage, or conversely overstocking perishable products (with a limited lifespan): periodic national quantification work and planning are the keystone of this approach. In addition, understanding the challenges of maintaining the perishable products’ cold chain promotes diligence and efficiency in the implementation of transport and import activities.
«In the event of non-compliance with good practices in the management’s supply cycle, the quality of care for people living with HIV is directly impacted since this can cause, for example, temporary termination or misuse of their treatment. » – I.Z., workshop facilitator
In connection with the tools developed and used by these countries, this workshop promoted discussions around the respective practices and experiences on managing the laboratory products’ supply chain, as well as the sharing both scientific and operational knowledge on the activities of implementing viral load tests. According to one of the participants, the message was passed on thanks to examples of “hands-on exercises to better understand and prepare for the transition”. The participants will then organize feedback workshops in their respective countries on the themes and tools discussed during the week to contribute to the ownership of the activities supported by the project.
Learn more about the OPP-ERA project
Since 2013, the OPP-ERA project has been working with 7, then 11, laboratories in Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea to improve access to the HIV viral load test. An indispensable indicator of the HIV treatment effectiveness. Beyond the laboratory equipment, the OPP-ERA project has invested a lot since the beginning of their human resources training, and particularly in the technical capacities reinforcement of staff involved in the management of the supplies and product stock necessary for the performing viral load tests. Thus, in addition to technical and scientific support, the OPP-ERA project has striven to meet all the conditions necessary for carrying out viral load tests in these laboratories.