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IMPACT Program joins Ministry of Public Health and Malagasy Professional Training Fund to Strengthen Private Sector Engagement in Health Commodities Sector

On June 30, 2023, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Improving Market Partnerships and Access to Commodities Together (IMPACT) program signed a collaboration agreement with the Madagascar Ministry of Public Health’s Directorate of Pharmacies, Laboratories, and Traditional Medicine (DPLMT), and the Malagasy Professional Training Fund (FMFP) to finance a new capacity-building program for drug shop members of regional associations across Madagascar. IMPACT also presented the “Guide for Engaging the Private Sector” to the DPLMT during this ceremony.

Signature of the partnership agreement between (left to right) DPLMT, IMPACT, and FMFP on June 30, 2023. Photo by PSI.

The IMPACT program aims to improve the capacity of the Malagasy health system to ensure that quality pharmaceuticals and health commodities are available and accessible to all Malagasy people on a sustainable basis. Banyan Global, as part of the Population Services International (PSI) led-IMPACT consortium, has partnered with the Madagascar Ministry of Public Health to support private sector engagement in pharmaceutical distribution. Banyan Global has conducted various activities targeting commercial actors in the distribution chain, particularly drug shops. These drug shops play a vital role as a solution to the shortage of pharmacists in remote areas of Madagascar. Since the beginning of the program, Banyan Global has organized capacity-building sessions for 316 drug shops, focusing on operational and financial management, to enhance their access to finance through partner banks. The program also facilitated the establishment and formalization of ten regional associations.

As a result of these activities, Banyan Global developed a “Guide for Engaging the Private Sector” for the DPLMT. This guide will enable the DPLMT to replicate these activities in areas not covered by the program. Through its work with IMPACT, the DPLMT saw the importance of capacity building for drug shops and is establishing a mandatory training program for them. Regional drug shop associations expressed concerns about their members’ ability to afford the costs of the training and asked for IMPACT’s help in finding funding for the DPLMT training.

Presentation of the “Guide for Engaging the Private Sector” developed by Banyan Global. Photo by PSI.

Banyan Global assisted the DPLMT in identifying a training funder: FMFP. Through the new partnership between DPMLT, FMFP, and IMPACT, the training costs for members of regional drug shop associations will be partially financed, ensuring that the drug shops learn to operate more professionally and benefit the Malagasy population by ensuring access to quality medicines.

The signing and handover ceremony was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Public Health, USAID, FMFP, the IMPACT program, regional drug shop associations, and partners involved in the health commodities sector.