PMI Contributes to Improving Governance and Transparency at Benin's Central Medical Stores
A steady supply of antimalarial drugs and other commodities is critical to the fight against malaria. However, in Benin – as in many other sub-Saharan countries – ensuring an uninterrupted supply of drugs has been a major challenge for the health system.
Central Medical Stores (CAME) is the principal pillar of Benin’s pharmaceutical system—the institution responsible for the procurement and distribution of essential drugs and consumables for the public health system nationwide. However, frequent stockouts at public health facilities and the illicit sale of over-priced antimalarial products have undermined the efforts of the Government of Benin and international donors to combat malaria. These problems have also discouraged vulnerable populations from seeking treatment at public health facilities.
|Newly elected members of Benin’s Central Medical Stores Management Committee are pictured at a capacity-building workshop on governance and transparency. PMI helped coordinate this workshop in August 2010. Source: Ghislaine Djidjoho, MSH/SPS Benin|
In 2008, the Government of Benin initiated a reform process to improve CAME’s efficiency and requested PMI’s help. The PMI-supported assessment team recommended overhauling the legal framework of CAME’s operations, including its statutes, internal regulations, and the partnership agreement that binds it to the government. PMI then collaborated with the Ministry of Health to develop a new legal framework for CAME. In early 2010, the government adopted new laws that redefined the legal framework governing CAME’s operations.
CAME is now an independent, nongovernmental, not-for profit organization. Under its new status, CAME has gained financial autonomy.
In April 2010, CAME elected a new management committee. With PMI support, a capacity-building workshop was held to provide committee members with the skills needed in their new role. PMI also helped design an electronic logistics management tool to improve the management of commodities within the health system. This tool is now being used in 31 of 34 health districts nationwide.