Rwanda: Software Helps Link Medicine, Patients
August 9, 2012
A Dallas-based firm is helping Rwanda keep tabs on its medicine supply chain, making sure drugs for diseases like TB and AIDS are delivered on time and are not diverted or replaced with counterfeits.
One Network Enterprises (ONE) recently won a $1.7 million contract to provide Rwanda's Ministry of Health with a three-year subscription to cloud-based software to track packages of medications from supply depots to patients. The software is used to note a package's chain of custody and, when medication is delivered to a patient, it signals suppliers to ready another shipment.
"The black market around AIDS drugs is a very big problem," said Greg Brady, founder and CEO of ONE. Other ONE clients include the US Marine Corps, which uses the network to track ammunition supplies worldwide.
The US government set up the Supply Chain Management System, a network of charities and logistics firms, to manage the shipping process for drugs supplied by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Of $1.1 billion worth of medicines shipped from factories to government warehouses, just 0.002 percent have been lost to theft or counterfeiting.
Getting from such warehouses to Rwanda's 295 clinics that dispense antiretroviral therapy and other drugs is complicated, however. As PEPFAR and its supply chain management evolve, recipient countries have taken on more administrative and funding tasks.
Rwanda has its own drug-stock system "in large part because of strong government leadership," said Mamadi Yilla, PEPFAR's director of sustainability and integration. "You don't hear much about Rwanda's program because Rwanda works." Brady hopes ONE's software solution will strengthen that system further.
Dallas Morning News
07.24.2012; Jim Landers
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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