Developing medicines supply competency in Pacific Island Countries: A needs-based approach to education

Andrew Brown, Coralie McCormack, Gabrielle M Cooper, Nerida Smith


Context: Limited human resources are a major impediment to achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals in a number of Pacific Island Countries. A lack of education capacity to support competency development in medicine supply management is one of the main issues affecting workforce development in this region.

Description of programme: A new approach is proposed involving partnership between the United Nations Population Fund, the University of Canberra, Ministry of Health Officials and the health personnel within the Pacific region. The International Pharmacy Federation Pharmacy Education Taskforce „needs based‟ approach to pharmacy education and a participatory action research methodology are used to form the framework for this new approach.

Future plans: The strategy has as its starting point the need to understand local culture and its impact on learning and teaching; the mapping of competency requirements and an understanding of currently available information and materials. Subsequently this information will be applied to develop and trial new pedagogical approaches to the training of health personnel involved in medicines supply. 


Essential Medicine Supply, Competency, Culture, education, Pacific Island Countries, Participatory Action Research

Full Text:



Anderson, C., Bates, I., Beck, D., Brock, T.P., Futter, B., Mercer, H., Rouse, M., Whitmarch, S., Wuliji, T. & Yonemura, A. (2009) The WHO UNESCO FIP Pharmacy Education Taskforce. Human Resources For Health, 7, 45-45.

Anderson, C., Bates, I., Futter, B., Gal, D. & Rouse, M. (2010) Global perspectives of pharmacy education and practice. World Medical & Health Policy, 2, 5-18.

Asuzu, M.C., Ram, B.P., Salusalu, M., Lal, M. & Tuqa, S. (2004) Participatory operational research of the dynamics of the primary health care programme in Fiji. Pacific Health Dialog, 11, 31-37.

AUSAID, (2004) Pacific Regional Aid Strategy 2004–2009.

AUSAID, (2008) Tracking development and governance in the Pacific.

Bailey, M.C.E., Khaiyum, E. & Prasad, V.R. (2006) Fiji School of Medicine Diploma in Pharmacy graduates, ten year analysis-where are they now? Pacific Health Dialog, 13, 151- 154.

Brown, A. (2009a) Supply training package for essential reproductive health medicines & devices For 1st level Health Workers, A report from the United Nations Population Fund - Suva. UNFPA Suva.

Brown, A. (2009b) A systematic review of the literature addressing competencies, training and workforce requirements for any health care worker in Pacific Island Countries involved in essential medicines supply management. Report to the Pharmaceuticals Programme, Western Pacific Regional Office, World Health Organization.

Brown, A., Cometto, G., Cumbi, A., De Pinho, H., Kamwendo, F., Lehmann, U., McCourt, W., McPake, B., Pariyo, G. & Sanders, D. (2011) Mid-level health providers: A promising resource. Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica, 28, 308-315.

Cowan, I., Smith, T., Nakabea, P., Ajibulu, O. & Hennessy, O. (2007) Developing the image interpretation skills of South Pacific radiographers: a joint WHO/RANZCR/ISRRT project. Australasian Radiology, 51, 527-531.

Dayrit MM, D.C. (2006) The health workforce crisis - Where are the pharmacists? Int Pharm Journal, 20, 5-7.

Du Tiot, R., Brian, G., Palagyi, A., Williams, C. & Ramke, J. (2009) Education of eye health professionals to meet the needs of the Pacific. The New Zealand Medical Journal, 122, 69-76.

FIP, (2009) FIP Global Pharmacy Workforce Report.

Frenk, J., Chen, L., Bhutta, Z.A., Cohen, J., Crisp, N., Evans, T., Fineberg, H., Garcia, P., Ke, Y., Kelley, P., Kistnasamy, B., Meleis, A., Naylor, D., Pablos-Mendez, A., Reddy, S., Scrimshaw, S., Sepulveda, J., Serwadda, D. & Zurayk, H. (2010) Health professionals for a new century: transforming education to strengthen health systems in an interdependent world. Lancet, 376, 1923-1958.

Fulton, B.D., Scheffler, R.M., Sparkes, S.P., Auh, E.Y., Vujicic, M. & Soucat, A. (2011) Health workforce skill mix and task shifting in low income countries: a review of recent evidence. Human Resources For Health, 9, 1-1.

Hawthorne, N. & Anderson, C. (2009) The global pharmacy workforce: a systematic review of the literature. Human Resources For Health, 7, 48-48.

Jabre, B. (1981) Innovative approaches in nutrition education in the Pacific region. International Journal Of Health Education, 24, 95-101.

Keni, B.H. (2006) Training competent and effective primary health care workers to fill a void in the outer islands health service delivery of the Marshall Islands of Micronesia. Human Resources For Health, 4, 27-27.

Reason, P. & Bradbury, H. (Eds.) (2008) The SAGE Handbook of Action Research, Sage Publications.

Riding, P., Fowell, S. & Levy, P. (1995) An action research approach to curriculum development. Information Research, 1.

Tuisuva, J., Von Doussa, R., Dimmer, A., Smyth, J. & Davies, G. (1999) The sequential modular curriculum for oral health personnel: an evaluation of the Fijian experience after five years. Community Dental Health, 16, 97-101.

UN, (2010) The Millennium Development Goals Report 2010.

UNFPA, (2008) Reproductive Health Commodity Security (RHCS) Status Assessment Reports for 10 Pacific Islands.

UNFPA, (2010 ) UNFPA Annual Report 2010.

UNFPA, (2012) United Nations Population Fund Pacific Sub Regional Office. IN FUND, U. N. P. (Ed.).

UNSW-HRH, (2009) Mapping Human Resources for Health Profiles from 15 Pacific Island Countries.

WHO-GHWA, (2012) HRH Action Framework.

WHO-WPRO, (2005) Regional Strategy for Improving Access to Essential Medicines in the Western Pacific Region 2005- 2010.

WHO-WPRO, (2007) Regional Strategy on Human Resources for Health, 2006-2015.

WHO-WPRO, (2010) Special Issue on EC/ACP/WHO Partnership on Pharmaceutical Policies (Year 5). Essential Drugs Medicines Policy, 2010, 1-12.

WHO, (2006) The World Health Report 2006 - Working Together for Health. Geneva.

WHO, (2011) The World Medicines Situation 2011 Medicines Prices, Availability and Affordability. Geneva.


  • There are currently no refbacks.
article/comments.tpl article/footer.tpl