Enhancing HIV/AIDS Clinical Services With The Addition Of A Computerized Pharmacy in Kigali, Rwanda

Enhancing HIV/AIDS Clinical Services With The Addition Of A Computerized Pharmacy in Kigali, Rwanda

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We want to design a pharmacy for developing countries that can safely and accurately dispense medications. We realize qualified and trained pharmacy personnel are not always available – thus we have in place ways to train people to be pharmacists and pharmacy techs. This occurs by creating outlines of standard operating procedures and letting native staffers decide how they will accomplish key tasks and procedures.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our pharmacy was one of the first computerized pharmacies with printed labels in Kigali. We were able to create a computer run pharmacy that could withstand the hot, dusty conditions of the city and prove that we could easily train pharmacy personnel to run this sophisticated equipment. This is important because managing inventory for HIV medications is vital to minimizing stockouts, which could decimate patients' drug regimens. In addition, by having a pharmacy that is organized both by patient record and by workflow efficient workspace, one creates a work environment that allows for less chance of medication expiration and better organization of supplies. Also, the pharmacy software is the same software used by businesses in the states. Thus, by being built for business, the processes are quicker and easier to learn. In comparison, other healthcare providers who have used our system demo have said our program is much easier to use than theirs. Imagine having a pharmacy program that is efficient, simple and, when appropriate, could be easily converted to a for-profit operation.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The day-to-day key activities of the project include patient data entry, writing out directions in patient’s native language, creating and monitoring patient profiles, inventory management and also creating billing groups for patients from different NGOs.
About You
Prescription For Hope
About You
First Name


Last Name


Facebook Profile
About Your Organization
Organization Name

Prescription For Hope

Organization Phone

914 282 4921

Organization Address

807 Lydig Ave, Suite 201, Bronx, NY 10462

Organization Country

United States, NY, Bronx County

Country where this project is creating social impact

Rwanda, KV

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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What stage is your project in?

Operating for more than 5 years

Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.

This pharmacy operates in a clinic that takes care of one of the most vulnerable populations: HIV-positive Rwandan genocide rape victims and their families. These patients are dedicated, adherent and quite appreciative of clinic efforts.

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

In 2004, the founder met a physician at an AIDS conference in Bangkok. Later that year she invited him out to Rwanda to help her design a pharmacy in a clinic she was building for HIV positive Rwandan genocide rape survivors. In early 2005, he went to Rwanda for three weeks and his life was changed forever. He saw abject poverty yet at the same time he saw in these patients a fierce determination to live and take care of their children. He wanted to devote his life to helping disadvantaged populations obtain excellent pharmacy care and have patient records be a good link for presribers. With the help of his Congresswoman he obtained his 501c3 in five months and immediately had two goals which he completed. One, raise money for a course in antiretroviral supply chain management and two, raise money for pharmacy supplies to bring to Rwanda.

Social Impact
Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured

The original equipment installed in 2006 is still operational. Also, in 2006 we started with 42 HIV patients and as of June 2011 we have over 1100 HIV patients and over six hundred HIV patients on PCP prophlaxis. Most importantly, we have not been involved with the project since 2008 - the Rwandans have been running the pharmacy themselves.

How many people have been impacted by your project?

1,001- 10,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

To bring modern pharmacy practices and equipment to several sites. The project manager has also applied for Rwandan pharmacist certification enabling him to work more collaboratively.

Task 1

Raise money for computer and pharmacy supplies (approx. 5-15k).

Task 2

Begin training pharmacy staff - try to use pilot program staff.

Task 3

Help partner decide pharmacy sites and layout.

Identify your 12-month impact milestone

At 12 months two pharmacies should be operational and within 60-90 days of opening, pharmacies should be producing prescriptive and inventory data.

Task 1

Help find appropriate personnel.

Task 2

Make sure pharmacy design is complete.

Task 3

Make sure Ministry Of Health is aware of activities.

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

1. In country takeover of pharmacies
2. Establish renewable, sustainable funding
3. Work with Ministry of Health in identifying areas of greatest need
4. Explore inclusion of Rwandan pharmacy students as interns
5. Explore collaborative lecturing on modern pharmacy best practices between Rwandan and U.S. Pharmacists
6. Explore solar powering of pharmacy equipment

What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

To overcome the funding barrier, will use the founder's network, social media, corporate assistance in funding grant writers. To overcome staffing issues will utilize role substitution and working with Rwandan pharmacy school students as potential interns. To overcome finding adequate pharmacy sites, work with the Ministry of Health, colleagues in country, partner with other NGOs and even seek out other NGOs for suggestions. To overcome lack of buy in by native Rwandans, use pilot pharmacy personnel to help sell ideas and provide cultural competency for Prescription For Hope staffers. Finally, to overcome the customs barrier, allocate budget for hiring knowledgeable export shippers.

Tell us about your partnerships

Our partners share a deep unbiding dedication to helping genocide rape survivors. Before we start working with a potential partner, we survey potential sites and ask a lot of questions. Since we do not supply medications, we check to see that there will be a steady stream once the pharmacy is completed. If possible we either pick out the site for the pharmacy or help assure that the area is secure. Finally, we try to meet the pharmacist running the facility to see how best to teach him/her the processes.

Explain your selections

The founder's friends, family and individuals know first hand about his passions in this area. Since the founder's family has a for profit community pharmacy, he asked major vendors for donations - and for the most part they agreed to help.

How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?

The pilot project was successful beyond anybody's expectation. We have viable data and want to leverage that data to convince donors that their return on investment will be well spent. This will be accomplish by showing existing data, showing pictures of existing pharmacy and promising them proof of operation within 60-90 days of opening pharmacy.

Which barriers to health and well-being does your innovation address?
Please select up to three in order of relevancy to your project.


Limited access to preventative tools or resources


Lack of physical access to care/lack of facilities


Limited human capital (trained physicians, nurses, etc.)

Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.

First, a pharmacy gives a HIV-positive Rwandan acbcess to a consistent supply of lifesaving medications. Second, by having a pharmacy in the community initially for HIV, you can expand out to Malaria, Hypertension, Diabetes and preventative medications like vitamins and even vaccines. Third, through the use of training, role substitution can be used to run these pharmacies.

How are you growing the impact of your organization or initiative?
Please select up to three potential pathways in order of relevancy to you.



Influenced other organizations and institutions through the spread of best practices


Repurposed your model for other sectors/development needs

Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.

We plan to continue working with personnel within the Rwandan Ministry of Health. In addition we have an "open door" policy for other NGOs to emulate our work and even access our technology. Finally, there may be elements of our pharmacy operations that may benefit inpatient or hospital pharmacy.

Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)

NGOs/Nonprofits, Academia/universities.

If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?

To date, we really have not had a great deal of success with these other organizations except for the NGO/Nonprofit that helped us originally.