Essential Drugs Program

The Ministry of Health provides health services through different health program units based on different disease conditions.
e.g. National malaria control Program, National Aids Control program, National TB Control Program, Mental Health Program and Neglected Tropical Disease Program etc.
However, there are other disease conditions that may require products such as, anti-infective, antidiarrheal, analgesics, antiemetics, antihelmintics, antihypertensive etc. Patients or clients in the above category need to be covered under a program. The MOH created the Essential Drugs Program (EDP) under the former Division of Pharmacy now the Department of Pharmaceutical Services.

Why EDP?

Medicines used to treat basic diseases that are cover under other programs like NACP, AMCP, MH, TB, NTD etc. Are all essential medicines.
How do we differentiate other essential medicines that caters to health needs but are not covered under the above program?
The MOH in agreement the NDS decided to call these medicines ‘Essential Drugs’, giving rise to the ‘Essential Drug program’


1. To quantify Essential Medicines used at Community and health facility levels to treat disease conditions that cut across four MOH program areas (EH, EDP, NCHAP & NCD).

2. The quantification team To determine a comprehensive list of medicines based on the Services reports and clinical experience
3. The quantification team to determined Products using the Essential Medicines List (EML) and the Standard Treatment Guidelines (STGs).

Other Programmatic Areas

The EDP before managed medicines from other health programs that have existed and those newly created. These include MH, NTD, EH, NCD NCHAP which are all represented by pharmacists working with the various program units. With the development of the eLMIS, all medicines and related supplies are now separated from EDP being managed under the program unit.


The NQTC have considered four key MOH program areas:

1. National Community health Program
2. Eye Health
3. Non communicable Disease Program
4. Essential Drug Program
5. The quantification should cover the period of three (3) years (2022 – 2024)
6. Data to consider
7. Service /morbidity data from HMIS
8. Consumption data from eLMIS
9. The quantification is for National level
10.Health Conditions that are treated at the primary health level will be prioritized
11.Tracer medicines used to measure supply chain performance are also prioritized
12.Basic medical supplies that are required for administering these medicines will be quantified

Special Consideration

The EDP Program will like to recognize and thank USAID/GHSC-PSM (Chemonics) for the 2018 EDP quantification and subsequent commitment to procure 13 products that have carried the Program a long way. These include two of our tracer medicines Paracetamol 500mg and ferrous sulphate + Folic Acid that have been fully supplied for the past four plus quarters.

The GF has also been procuring Examination gloves which is one of the tracer products for the EDP. We also want to recognize Last mile Health/Village Reach for sponsoring this 2021 EDP Quantification. However, there are other tracer Medicines: Doxycycline 100mg, Co-trimoxazole 480mg, Mebendazole 100mg, ORS, Hydrochlothaizide 25mg and other that have been under supplied due to lack of funding. We are also asking other partners to follow the good example of USAID and other in helping to fund the EDP.


Set of data will be evaluated to see which output will be realistic and considering the reliability of source data using the best suitable quantification tool selected by the NQTC. Estimates (outputs) will be produced and evaluated to meet health need of the population. Estimated quantities projected will be cost and results will be shared with key MOH stakeholders for possible actions.