In this three part series, Jay Heavner, Director of Knowledge Sharing and Communication at Supply Chain Management System (SCMS), highlights his experiences visiting three countries in Africa to observe SCMS project sites.
On a documentation tour of Nigeria earlier this month, I visited sites in four states plus the capital, Abuja, to document the progress of SCMS and find out how well the country is doing in managing its public health medicines and other supplies. The tour was a study in contrasts: One state boasts a central medical store that is ISO Certified and has a computerized system that helps manage inventory and orders. Nearby, a private hospital has a small, well organized and air-conditioned room dedicated to the storage of AIDS medicines. On the other hand, in a neighboring state, the central medical store lacks even basic equipment. Its dedicated staff, after a recent SCMS training in warehouse management, is taking a first step to improve their operations by requesting wooden pallets to reduce the risk of water damage to boxes that currently sit on the floor.
A highlight of my trip was a visit to the warehouse in Abuja that was built with private funds to support coordinated “pooled” procurement by some 20 President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) implementing partners (IPs). Operated in a partnership between RTT, a South Africa-based company (also an SCMS team member organization), and MDS, a Nigerian company based in Lagos, the facility is a fully equipped pharmaceutical compliant warehouse. The day I visited, the loading dock was a hub of activity. Several IPs – Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, Partners for Development and Vanderbilt/Friends in Global Health and AXIOS—were picking up their bi-monthly supply of HIV test kits. Read the rest of this entry »
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