GHANA – mPharma, a Ghanaian startup which manages prescription drug inventory for pharmacies and their suppliers, has rolled out a program called Community Health by Mutti for community healthcare services.
The program aims at incorporating community health workers (CHWs) into the pharmaceutical delivery industry as a way of advancing good health.
mPharma will be assigning community health nurses to mutti partner pharmacies. These nurses will provide preventive health screening to people who live around a mutti pharmacy by visiting them in their homes and workplaces.
Mutti is an mPharama initiative that has allowed holders of a mutti card to access medication at select pharmacies by paying only a fraction of the cost upfront and the balance over the course of their treatment.
From small-scale education to large-scale immunizations, CHWs are the backbone of the healthcare systems in many rural and urban poor communities. It is well documented that CHWs drive access to healthcare services and undertake numerous activities that lead to improved health outcomes across many disciplines.
While the benefits of CHWs are established, the lack of adequate training, logistics, and supervision make it difficult to reap the full impact of their services.
Nurses in the program will provide preventive health screening to people who live around a mutti pharmacy by visiting them in their homes and workplaces. They can then use their local pharmacy for follow up on primary care interventions.
mPharma has been in the frontline to ensuring the health sector in Ghana is progressive and citizens are adequately covered. In March this year, mPharma helped the Ghanaian government to receive COVID-19 vaccines, a move that made mPharma the first company to do this in Ghana and possibly Africa.
Gregory Rockson, the CEO of mPharma, noted that mPharma established a $3 million molecular diagnostic fund invested in private hospitals in Ghana and Nigeria, helping to equip their existing laboratories with necessary molecular diagnostic equipment to test for COVID-19.
Subsequently, Mpharma partnered with a consortium consisting of different private sector players in Ghana to import vaccines for their workers. However, when the first batch of doses arrived in Ghana, Mpharma and the consortium agreed to give all the doses to the government for vaccinating health workers, putting the public interest before theirs.
“Beyond this, we are also using the program to build a baseline database on the prevalence of chronic diseases in these communities. This data will enable us to plan more targeted health interventions for these communities,” reported mPharma.