Efficient and effective supply chain management remains an important building block of the health system, requiring specialized talents, expertise and innovations to improve availability of medical commodities as an enabler for optimal healthcare service delivery.
While a well-functioning health system ensures equitable access to essential medical products, vaccines and technologies of assured quality, safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness, Nigeria’s healthcare system is laden with several underlying challenges ranging from limited adoption of private sector capabilities and expertise to advance supply chain system performance, sub-optimal stewardship in creating ecosystem for attracting private sector supply chain innovations and stimulating market development, complex, parallel and fragmented supply chain systems across different public health intervention programs as well as minimal harnessing and sharing of local evidence base and knowledge products to unlock sustainable supply chain solutions, to name but a few.
In view of this, stakeholders at Nigeria’s health care space have called on the need to unlock private-public sector partnerships, and catalyzing development of local talent for supply chain management of medicines. This, they believe, will, improve Nigerians’ access to medicines for conditions prevalent in the West Africa sub-region, lessen dependence on external factors for essential medicines and related health interventions as well as enhance Research and Development capacity for the development of indigenous therapies and interventions for conditions prevalent to West Africa.
Speaking at the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN)/ Pharmaceutical Manufactures Group of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) 2017 forum with the theme “Improving Access to Medicines: The imperatives of Local Manufacturing and Effective Supply Chain management, Mr. Okechukwu Akpa, Chairman, PMG-MAN, revealed that the nation’s pharma sector is bedevilled with policy inconsistencies (CET and other unfavourable policies), inadequate access to Funding and Finance, lack of frameworks for Knowledge Transfer etc.
With the 2016 Fiscal Policy ensures that local pharma company can satisfy National Consumption and the recent Presidential Executive Order encourages potential for exponential increase of local capacity and robust monitoring key to successful implementation, Akpa noted that prioritising development in the Pharma Manufacturing Sector can generate increased internal revenue for the Government, significant contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, predictable and reliable growth, Forex earnings from exports as well as the growth of related industries and sub-sectors.
Professor Usman Yusuf, Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIM) in a brief speech to the organizers of the event encouraged them on partnership. When he lament the state of healthcare system in Nigeria, he said partnership is key to health development.
Dr. Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq, MD/CEO, Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, stated that the forum created an opportunity for local manufacturers and other stakeholders to learn how to create an enabling environment for local manufacturing of medical commodities through effective supply chain management of medicines.
“At the heart of this is the vision of the Africa Resource Centre for Supply Chain (ARC Nigeria) is to mobilise the private sector and the academia to complement other actors currently supporting the public health supply chain to acceleration and sustain improvement in key supply chain outcomes- as a critical precursor to improving the availability of life-saving commodities and reducing maternal and child deaths.
“ARC Nigeria was founded by Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to serve as an independent advisor and strategic partner to provide technical and strategic support to the Federal Ministry of Health, State Ministries of Health, donors, and implementing partners in Nigeria. PHN represents the country’s foremost private sector platform established to complement FF, partners and implementers efforts in accelerating improvement in health outcomes buy leveraging private sector innovation, advocacy, impact investment and partnerships.”