Increasing and improving the choice and availability of drugs, essential health products and health technologies for maternal, newborn and child health.

priority issues

Although the French Muskoka Fund is helping to improve the availability of affordable, high-quality products in health facilities in French-speaking African countries through its drugs component and other initiatives, much still remains to be done.

As specified in Goal 3.8, the Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals requires the establishment of universal health coverage with access to essential drugs and vaccines by 2030, including, of course, those needed by mothers and children.

In addition, it is important to continue strengthening regulatory and procurement systems and the budget allocated by the government, and ensure that purchases are controlled and partner interventions help to strengthen the systems already in place.


Procurement and delivery of medical products to health facilities or communities, involving UNICEF and UNFPA in particular.

The strengthening of countries’ pharmaceutical systems, the preferred approach of WHO.




Drug selection

  • Revision of the national lists of essential drugs according to the model list developed by WHO, aimed at rationalizing and prioritizing the selection of drugs in the public health system, and guaranteeing better availability at the levels of supply structures and service delivery points service.

  • Regional workshop on access to medical devices, part of the continuity of the activities carried out under the RMNCH Trust Fund since 2013.

Availability of drugs

  • Strengthening collaboration between WHO and the Association of Central African Purchases of Essential Medicines (ACAME), and recognizing this entity as a direct partner. Priority activities for collaboration included the development and launch of the ACAME 2017-2021 Strategic Plan and the creation of a performance framework that aims to improve the quality of group purchasing management.
  • Compliance with availability, of zinc sulphate in particular, recommended for children with diarrhea.

Improving the quality of drugs

  • Strengthening the pharmaceutical regulatory authorities that guarantee the quality of available products, from the moment they enter the country until they reach the health facilities, to reduce the number of counterfeit and low-quality products (contraceptives and children’s antibiotics are two of the drugs most likely to be counterfeited). Improving pharmaceutical regulatory systems, including the implementation of a quality assurance and control mechanism, requires joint action and the harmonization of regulatory procedures, and must therefore involve regional economic communities.
  • A WHO Prequalification of Medicines Programme for pediatric and reproductive health drugs, including contraceptives, oxytocin, magnesium sulphate, misoprostol and mifepristone.
  • A quality assessment of some drugs for mothers and children was carried out by the WHO Prequalification Programme at the request of the United Nations Commission.
  • Preparing national quality control laboratories for the WHO Prequalification Programme.


Controlled drug pricing

  • Better control of drug pricing with governments encouraged to implement strategies to cover the cost of health care or set up a refund system for children under the age of five.

Sensible use of drugs

  • Evaluating treatment protocols to improve the quality of treatment for mothers and children and guarantee the quality of services provided to mothers and children.
  • Review of staff training tools.


The French Muskoka Fund helps to improve the availability and use of affordable, high-quality products in health facilities in French-speaking African countries.

Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal: the French Muskoka Fund has helped national drug quality control laboratories prepare for the WHO Prequalification Programme.

Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea: thanks to the assistance of the French Muskoka Fund, the current regulations for setting the price of drugs in the public sector have been revised. It is expected that this will result in more affordable treatments.

Niger: review of the Mother & Child Health + Treatment Guide, and 30 professionals trained in managing essential drugs for mother and child health.

Les pays

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