Fondation Pierre Fabre

Improved access to chronic medicines by electronic prescribing and monitoring of patient medicine parcel collection

Main beneficiary country:
South Africa

About the sponsor

Health Systems Trust

Non-Governmental Organisation supporting the South African National Department of Health in strengthening health systems.

Sector: Health: Healthcare professionals and structures

Country of origin: South Africa

The organisation has:

Full-Time Equivalents
Service providers

Initiative overview

Healthcare themes targeted

  • Primary healthcare
  • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Access to quality medicines/pharmacies
  • Chronic diseases
  • Cardiovascular illnesses
  • Mental health

Stage of development:

  • Routine project/operational

Area where initiative is utilised

  • Provincial/regional (in one region of a single country)

Initiative start date

  • 09/05/2016

Initiative end date

  • 09/30/2020


Financing method

  • NGO
  • Government agency (i.e AFD, USAID, etc.)

Economic model(s)

  • PEPFAR Funding

About the initiative

The current Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution Programme (CCMDD) is paper-based, and therefore subject to process inefficiencies. SyNCH automates the CCMDD process from prescription transmission to CCMDD pharmacy service providers (dispensing and distribution), to collection of patient medicine parcels at external pick-up points. It also prevents the duplication of patient registration by the entry of a unique identification number (South African Identification Number, Passport Number or Asylum Seeker Number). SyNCH ensures transparency between stakeholders.

SyNCH was developed to be interoperable with other electronic health systems, thereby ensuring that duplication of system functionality does not occur, whilst leveraging off available information.

The main goal of the Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) program is to improve access to chronic medicines for public health sector patients. Since the inception of CCMDD in 2014, there has been a marked increase in the number of patients accessing medicines through this programme since to the introduction of Universal Test and Treat for people living with HIV and AIDS in South Africa. The CCMDD program has been paper-based and therefore subject to process inefficiencies. In addition, the program lacked transparency.

The Synchronised National Communication in Heath (SyNCH) system was developed to rectify these issues and introduce a standardized, automated process in all provinces implementing CCMDD. The SyNCH system allows for online patient registration, selection of approved Pick-up Points (PuPs), electronic submission of prescriptions to CCMDD service providers’, scanning capability for Patient medicine Parcels (PMPs) issued to patients, and automated reporting at various levels within the health system.

Fields of application:

Patient monitoring and medical data - Promote compliance to standard treatment guidelines

Target audience

  • Healthcare professionals and structures (hospitals, healthcare centres/clinics, health networks)
  • Stable adult patients with chronic disease

Initiative objectives

  • Improved quality of health services

Key figures

1537123 Number of beneficiaries since launch

2277 Number of users per Week

Materials used

  • Tablet
  • Computer
  • Connected objects

Technologies used

  • Internet
  • Geolocation
  • Locally deployed application and database on tablet device for data collection and periodic synchronising with a central database when connectivity (internet) is available

Offline use


Open Source


Open Data


Independent evaluation