Effective supply chain system will maintain quality of drugs-Khawaja Salman

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Effective supply chain system will maintain
quality of drugs - Khawaja Salman 

UHS, USAID ink agreement to start
courses in supply chain management

LAHORE: Punjab Minister for Specialized Health Care and Medical Education, Khawaja Salman Rafique, has said that the process of procurement, supply and distribution of medicine and other health commodities in public sector hospitals of the province is being made standardized, comprehensive and effective. “We are bringing a robust and transparent supply chain management system which will not only help eliminate the loss incurred due to expiry of medicines but also would ensure qualitative and quantitative needs of the end users,”. This was stated by him while addressing  a symposium here at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) on July 12, 2017.

The symposium on the “Significance of Public Health Supply Chain Management” was organized by UHS in collaboration with USAID Global Health Supply Chain – Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) programme. It was part of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two organizations which was signed at the end of the symposium.

According to this agreement, UHS and USAID Global Health Supply Chain Programme will collaborate to initiate diploma, short courses and Masters leading to PhD programme in Supply Chain Management. In the first phase, 3-credit hour module of supply chain management has been incorporated in the Masters in Public Health Programme of the University.

Khawaja Salman Rafique said that it is the top priority of the government to provide free-of-cost medicines worth billions of rupees to the patients in public sector hospitals every year and it is the prime responsibility of the authorities concerned to make the process of purchase, supply and distribution of medicines completely transparent. “Accountability has been brought in at all levels to ensure that the medicines purchased are reaching the needy”, he added.

The minister acknowledged USAID and UHS support to the Punjab government in institutionalizing public health supply chain management system. He expressed that the collaboration between the two organizations and initiation of new course would benefit officials at all levels of public sector hierarchy with technical skills in all supply chain functions.

“This skilled force will contribute and help the government machinery to forecast, quantify, process and store quality health commodities and distribute to the poor and marginalized community at the grass root level”, Khawaja Salman added.

The Federal Secretary, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, Muhammad Ayub Sheikh, congratulated Punjab government and UHS on taking this much needed initiative and introducing training programme on public health supply chain management. He said that at federal level a new vaccine management system has been introduced which has been appreciated at international level.

UHS Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr Junaid Sarfraz Khan, expressed the confidence that the course is going to impart on its graduates global best practices in forecasting and quantification, procurement, warehousing, inventory management and create a legacy of scientific and judicious practices in institutions where the graduates will return to.

The Country Director of USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program, being managed by Chemonics International, Dr Muhammad Tariq, highlighted the importance of introducing supply chain management course and said that the program is working closely with the Health and Population Welfare departments to create functional synergies across the country to make the supply chain operations up the international standards.

The Secretary, Population Welfare Department, Dr Ismat Tahira, said that a key way to improve access to medicines in the country is to address the challenges facing local production of medicines as well as those hampering effective supply chain management. She further stated that an effective medicine supply chain would stop cases of people being turned away from health facilities because of non-availability of medicines particularly vaccines and immunization commodities.

UHS Public Health Department’s head, Prof Dr Shakila Zaman, said that USAID would organize a 3-day orientation session for nominated faculty members of UHS on supply chain management module scheduled from July 18-20 at the varsity campus. Being part of orientation session, the participants would be visiting Central Warehouse and Supplies (CW&S), Karachi – a state of the art, ISO 9001-2008 certified, public sector national repository of family planning commodities being managed under the auspices of Federal Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, she added. (PR)

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