Improving the Supply of Health Commodities in Madagascar through Innovative Training

Monday, November 18, 2019
Participants are doing group exercise on bookkeeping
Photo: PSI/Madagascar


The USAID-funded IMPACT project conducted its first financial business strengthening training for drug shops on May 21st and 22nd in Fénerive Est, in eastern Madagascar.  This training was the first of its kind for people working in Madagascar’s private sector to supply health commodities.

This training took place after PSI had conducted a survey in 2019 to identify the drug shops’ training needs. The findings showed that bookkeeping and inventory management were the most urgent needs so IMPACT’s Access to Finance (A2F) team tailored the training accordingly.

A2F led the training that was attended by drug shop owners and managers, including six women, in Analanjirofo region.  The training course provided not only new training topics but also a new approach to participant selection. Under this approach, the regional pharmaceutical association publicized the training event, and participants had to indicate their interest in attending, rather than IMPACT spending time and resources to mobilize participants. In addition to attending the training, participants also had to meet their own transportation and accommodation expenses for the two-day training; IMPACT provided only meals and training materials. The participants therefore invested in their own capacity building, which indicates that they are more likely to be motivated to apply what they learned to the daily operations of their drug shops.  Twenty-two drug shops were willing to cover their participation costs, demonstrated their genuine interest in improving their business practices.

A2F teamed up with SOPHARMAD, a pharmaceutical wholesaler, to build the participants’ skills in stock management. SOPHARMAD helped the participants better understand the drugs they sell and learn about new drugs. It also offered participating drug shops a special discount on pharmaceuticals and a reduction in transportation costs. SOPHARMAD benefitted from this training as well because they were introduced to new potential clients.

The training was a success because it offered tangible benefits to the participants, promoted ownership in the process from the drug shop owners and SOPHARMAD, and advanced USAID’s growing focus on partnerships with the private sector to improve the lives of the Malagasy people.  One participant, Pauline, a drug shop owner based in Sainte Marie said, “I have been working in this sector for more than 25 years, and this is the first time I’ve received training in management and finances. It was practical, simple, and effective.” 

Private sector company SOPHARMAD was involved in the training
Private sector company SOPHARMAD was involved in the training
Photo: PSI/Madagascar



Last updated: June 15, 2020

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