Continuous access to quality and cost-effective pharmaceuticals is critical to USAID programs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Long customs clearance cycles, insecurity, and infrastructural challenges such as damaged roads and country size create risks of stockouts of the lifesaving commodities that USAID’s target populations in the DRC rely on. FHI 360, serving as the prime contractor for the USAID Global Health Supply Chain-Quality Assurance Program (GHSC-QA), has evaluated pharmaceutical wholesalers in DRC by assessing their level of compliance with the World Health Organization (WHO) Model Quality Assurance System for Procurement Agencies (MQAS). Two suppliers have been identified as eligible for USAID procurement and both can now participate in USAID Global Health Supply Chain (GHSC) procurement tenders.
To celebrate this milestone, an eligibility ceremony was held on May 26, 2023, in Kinshasa, DRC. Attendees included Mr. Christian Bukasa, Director of the Congolese authority on pharmaceutical regulations (ACOREP); Mr. Polydor Kabila, representing the DRC Ministry of Public Health, Hygiene, and Prevention; Emma Din, Integrated Health Team Leader for USAID/DRC, and other representatives from USAID/DRC and USAID/Washington; the DRC Fédération des Centrales de Distribution des Médicaments Essentiels (FEDECAME); local wholesalers and distributors, including ASRAMES and AMT Pharma-Distri; GHSC partners; and other local stakeholders. Ms. Din and Mr. Kabila presented ASRAMES and AMT Pharma-Distri, the USAID-eligible wholesalers, with certificates of recognition.
“The Ministry of Public Health welcomes USAID's support in implementing actions in line with national priorities. Furthermore, we encourage all local suppliers to improve themselves in order to participate in these offers from USAID to contribute to the availability of quality medicines in the DRC”, said Mr. Kabila.
This activity supports USAID’s localization initiative and its commitment to grant local suppliers more access to USAID-funded procurements, thereby improving the availability of quality-assured products.