Monday, 8 October 2018

Private And Public Sectors Collaboration Will Strengthen Healthcare –ARC Nigeria


•Boost Local Talent Development To Solve Supply Chain Challenges Too

Chioma Umeha 
L-R: Dr. Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq, CEO, Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, Jim Coughlan, Global Solutions Director, UPS Foundation, Azuka Okeke, Regional Director, Africa Resource Centre, Prof Jarrod Goentzel, Founder and Director of the MIT Humanitarian Supply Chain Lab in MIT, USA, and Bronwyn Timm, Strategy and Partnership Lead, Africa Resource Centre, South Africa at the maiden ARC Partnership Forum in Lagos, Nigeria.

Lagos – There has been increasing global clamour for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to deliver access to required health services of sufficient quality. This is just as pundits are saying that UHC cannot be achieved without access to medicines and health commodities.  
In view of this, experts are worried over the huge gap in Nigeria’s supply chain and logistics systems amid calls for UHC.
Recent World Bank ranking shows Nigeria underperforms global and regional peers on key levers of logistics and supply chain efficiency.
Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) transport and logistics survey conducted in 2014 showed that 25 per cent of the annual profit of industrial operators in Lagos State is lost to the clumsy transportation system.
More worrisome is the fact that studies confirm shortage of logistics staff and managers, however, universities in Nigeria are not aligned well with industry or government needs in supply chain capacity.
To change the paradigm, ARC Nigeria have therefore called for collaboration of the public sector with private sector companies to facilitate the transfer of supply chain expertise to strengthen public health supply chain systems in the country.
ARC Nigeria, which is a collaboration of Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said that the participation of the private sector would strengthen public health supply chain, especially in ensuring availability of vaccines, essential medicines, and medical products.
Speaking at the maiden ARC Partnership Forum, Dr. Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq, CEO, Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, revealed that the private sector has the expertise, resources and capabilities that the public health sector can benefit from to increase the availability of medicines & health commodities at the last mile.
Dr. Muntaqa also said that this could be achieved by building efficient, effective and resilient supply chain systems.
“The impact ARC aims to achieve is an improved performance of the supply chains to increase the availability of medicines health commodities at the last mile.
“Collectively, the private sector possesses both tangible & intangible assets that give it a distinct advantage in tackling specific health issues, including building efficient, effective & resilient supply chain systems,” Dr. Muntaqa explained.
Meanwhile, Azuka Okeke, the Regional Director, Africa Resource Centre for Supply Chain disclosed that ARC Nigeria is currently working to build a centralised and regional Supply Chain Resource Centre that can provide independent advice, develop partnerships and share experiences and learning across countries to help Ministries of Health meet their public health goals.
“ARC is focusing on areas that collectively leverage supply chain expertise, tools and capabilities to support performance improvements in the public health system.
“These areas include supporting supply chain strategy, advocate for supply chain investments and provide independent advice and expertise; support Ministries of Health to shape investments and align donors and implementing partners, Azuka explained.
Others are, access private sector expertise, tools, methods and capability to improve supply chain transformations and supply chain management as well as broker partnerships to strengthen Ministries of Health capability and build long-term talent for supply chain in Africa,” the Regional Director added.
Sharing insights on development local talents in-country for supply chain in Nigeria, Babatunde Ogunleye-Johnson, Programme Manager, ARC Nigeria revealed that ARC Nigeria partnered with Massachusetts of Information Technology (MIT), USA to pioneer a SCALE Center in Nigeria with access to a global network of programs, research, and partnerships to drive supply chain innovation.
“The SCALE Centre will develop local supply chain management, human capital and expertise and open up new opportunities for innovation especially in supply chain and logistics. SCALE Nigeria will be a platform to cultivate the active exchange of new concepts, methods, and technologies across stakeholders,” Ogunleye-Johnson added.
The ARC Partnership forum brought together corporate private sector partners from Pharmaceuticals, FMCGs, Logistics & Transport, Telecommunications, etc. including government and development partners.
The aim is to share experiences and explore new ways of partnering with the public sector to achieve measurable results in healthcare.
Also, the forum brought to the fore how the private sector is strengthening public health supply chain.

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