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UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Ensuring access to health care and medicines during COVID-19: critical challenges and feasible policy options for the medicines retail sector

Disclaimer: The data for this page has been produced from IATI data published by UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Please contact them (Show Email Address) if you have any questions about their data.

Programme Data Last Updated: 23/03/2022

IATI Identifier: GB-GOV-13-FUND--GCRF-MR_V035592_1


Managing pandemics and ensuring ongoing access to medicines is a difficult task for any government. In most high income settings, this can be achieved by activities focussed on public health systems. In countries such as Uganda, however, 40-70% of medicines for fever, headaches and cough are delivered through drug shops, private clinics and pharmacies. Governments need to create policies and programmes so that the medicines retail sector (MRS) can continue to provide treatment for common infectious diseases like malaria and bacterial pneumonia; does not become a 'hotspot' for disease transmission; and can actively contribute to the public health response during disease outbreaks. It is difficult for governments to know how to involve the MRS in responses to COVID-19. There are few guidelines to draw upon. The World Health Organisation is seeking ways to better support private sector actors so that they can be an effective part of the COVID-19 response and continue to provide care for other illnesses. Their work is stymied by a lack of evidence. This project is part of a long standing collaboration between researchers in Uganda, UK and Denmark. It will build on recent research in the retail sector to rapidly create and disseminate new evidence on: the impact of current policies (including lockdown and curfew) on the MRS and community access to treatment; the ways in which members of the MRS are willing to be involved in COVID-19 public health response (health education, testing, surveillance); and what this would cost to scale up in the country.


to understand and mitigate the vulnerability of supply and access to medicines within the Uganda health system (WHO Roadmap priorities 9.9, 9.11). We will document how COVID-19 and the national response to the pandemic has shaped the ability of the MRS to deliver antibiotics, malaria medicines and contraceptives; identify feasible, costed policy actions to mitigate any negative impact of COVID-19 on access to medicines; and identify ways that the MRS can play an active role in response to ongoing and future pandemics

Status - Implementation More information about Programme status
Programme Spend More information about Programme funding
Participating Organisation(s) More information about implementing organisation(s)

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