By Chioma Umeha
To ensure provision of safe and cost effective drugs among other health care commodities, the Lagos State Government through its Ministry of Health has inaugurated the Local Government Logistics Management Coordinating Units (LLMCU).
The units, a sub-structure of Local Government Area focal officers, were created to organise, monitor, and support all health logistics activities from the health facilities in the local government areas to the state level and would be responsible for the coordinated collection and collation of data from Primary Health Care Centres.
Dr. Olufemi Onanuga, Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Health Care, who inaugurated the LLMCU in Ikeja Tuesday noted that Nigeria was being faced with some challenges of procurement and supply management activities.
He added that the challenges include poor supply chain and demand management, high stock out rates, high wastages through expiration and poor visibility of procurement and supply chain management leading to suboptimal outcomes.
He said, “These challenges led to the creation of the Nigeria Supply Chain Integration Project (NSCIP) of the National Product Supply Chain Management Programme (NPSCMP) which is charged with the responsibility to institutionalise and strengthen the framework for an integrated, effective and efficient supply chain of health commodities.”
Onanuga explained that any government that fails to ensure provision of safe, and cost effective drugs amongst other health care services would be seen to be shirking in its duty as an efficient and effective health care provider, stressing that the provision of medicines is critical to quality health care delivery.
“The Lagos State Government is irrevocably committed towards sustaining a vibrant healthcare to its teaming population and this is demonstrated with the massive upgrades of General Hospitals and Primary Healthcare Centres across the state, in keeping with the avowed commitment of the Governor to raise and sustain the confidence in public healthcare service delivery,” the Special Adviser said.
While thanking the Federal Ministry of Health and other implementing partners for helping to develop a robust supply chain management system in the state, Onanuga assured that the state government would continue to collaborate with relevant Federal Government Ministries and Agencies as well as development partners to improve health systems strengthening and ensure that clients are continuously provided with quality health care using deployed resources efficiently and effectively.
Earlier, Dr. Moyosore Adejumo, the Director, Pharmaceutical Services in the Ministry of Health, stated that the key objective of the National Product Supply Chain Management Programme which begets the Logistics Managements Coordinating Units at the state, local government and health facility levels is to ensure the continuous availability of public health commodities at the national, state, LGA and health facility levels through interdependence and collaboration between all the supply chain actors in-country.
“The leadership of the State Ministry of Health in keeping with the lofty objectives for a better supply chain management system in the country inaugurated the State Logistics Management Coordinating Unit which is domiciled under the Directorate of Pharmaceutical Services in March 2014,”she added.
Adejumo explained that Local Government LMCUs would be responsible for the transmission of the aggregated logistics data from health facilities that are not electronically enabled within the LGA to state LMCU, adding that the LLMCU would promote coordination and interdependence across all existing public health programmes operating within the LGA.
Speaking in the same vein, Mrs. Talhatu Kazeem, the representative of the Nigeria Supply Chain Integration Project, stated that all hands must be on deck to ensure that the Local Government LMCUs get all the support it deserves.
“Most critically would be the support and buy-in of all the stakeholders at the local government and in the health facilities. The state is also expected to play a critical role of mentoring as we expect that they provide exemplary leadership to duplicate work done in the local government,” she stressed.