Eliminating stockouts in Africa

31st May 2009

Stop The Stock-outs and partners hold briefing for African Ministers of Health

Members of the ambitious new campaign Stop The Stock-outs recently provided African ministers of health with an informative briefing on the dramatic impact that stockouts of essential medicines have on vulnerable populations such as women and children. The briefing took place as part of the Fourth Session on the African Union (AU) Conference of Ministers of Health in Addis Ababa from May 4-8, 2009, which met this year under the theme of "Universal Access to Quality Health Services: Improve Maternal Neonatal and Child Health." 

Stop The Stock-outs partners highlighted the need to address the issue of stockouts of essential medicines through such measures as encouraging local production of medicines by maintaining up-to-date information on patent status; using national and sub-regional pooled procurement to increase efficiency and improve public health delivery; protecting locally produced generic equivalents by preventing them from being labeled as counterfeit; and remaining committed to providing 15% of the national budget for health expenditures (as per the 2001 Abuja target). 

Download the Joint African Civil Society Statement on Access to Essential Medicines.

Among the recommendations that will be adopted by the AU ministers in the final conference declaration were the need to identify regional manufacturing plants to increase availability of essential medicines through reductions in cost and a renewed commitment to providing 15% of the national budget for health expenditures. 

As mentioned in the May 2009 issue of SupplyInsider, Stop The Stock-outs is the brainchild of Coalition member Health Action International Africa (HAI Africa), Oxfam, the Open Society Institute and 12 civil-society partners. For more information on Stop The Stock-outs initiatives, please visit their website.

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