A stock-out is when a pharmacy has no medicine on the shelves. Obviously a stock-out can have very grave consequences for patients. Stop Stock-Outs aim to ensure access to essential medicines for who ever is in need of them. To help achieve this aim the organisation have held a 'pill check week'.
During 'pill check week', researchers visited public health institutions in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia and checked on the availability of a list of 10 essential medicines. These are medicines that should be readily available in public health facilities.
The team then reported the results through short messaging services (SMS) to a common site, and then added the data to a Google Map. The resulting map provides a snap shot of the shortage of essential medicines in these countries just in this one week.