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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Zambia
2012-08-13T11:37:44Z | 2012-08-13T11:37:44Z | 2010-11

Health experts and policymakers want people to have access to affordable and high-quality medical care. But in some developing countries, making quality healthcare available may first necessitate ensuring that essential medicines are available, such as anti-malaria pills and antibiotics. The challenge to guaranteeing a steady supply is not only related to the financial side of paying for medicines. Poor roads, limited communications and storage problems can make it difficult to keep medical facilities stocked with what they need to provide children and adults with regular and lifesaving care. The World Bank is working to help countries provide quality medical care, a key part of many of the United Nations Millennium Development eight goals. Recently, in Zambia, the World Bank supported a project exploring how to guarantee the availability of essential medicines in often-remote health facilities. The 12-month study, which covered almost 22 percent of Zambia's rural population, found that streamlining the delivery of medicines directly to health centers and introducing a dedicated staff member to help facilitate and track orders cut down on the rate at which clinics ran out of basic medicines. The focus on just one aspect of good healthcare, making certain necessary supplies are in stock in medical clinics, does not answer all the questions that experts face in building or supporting functioning health systems. But it may help them as they work towards creating the quality healthcare that all people deserve.


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