Efficient supply of vital health products possible

Columnists

Efficient supply of vital health products possible


Summary

  • Streamlining access to last mile destinations; in remote areas like Rusinga Island, Kibich in Turkana, or even the nearest health centers like Korogocho in Nairobi, it’s not rocket science.
  • Over the years, supply chain practitioners have pursued several models that ensure efficient product delivery.
  • Over the past few months, Kemsa has made tremendous progress focused on organizational reforms.

The world has just celebrated World Health Day, which commemorates the founding, on April 7, 1948, of the World Health Organization (WHO).

On this recent occasion, I spared some time to reflect on the essence of this auspicious day with some local spices.

I was particularly captivated by the theme adopted this year, centered on our planet and health. I have carefully read and skimmed through the World Health Day material. Some of the documents posed profound questions that took me on a journey of reflection.

Among them: Are we able to reimagine a world where clean air, water and food are accessible to all? Where economies are focused on health and well-being?

Where cities are livable and where people are in control of their health and that of the planet?

I added a question: Are we able to guarantee the timely delivery of medical supplies to the most remote areas of this country and the world?

Suffice to say, the envisioned planet and cities where people are in control of their health and that of the planet cannot be achieved with dysfunctional access to health products and technologies.

Streamlining access to last mile destinations; in remote areas like Rusinga Island, Kibich in Turkana, or even the nearest health centers like Korogocho in Nairobi, it’s not rocket science.

Nor can we afford to avoid contemporary technologies or processes that ensure the spatial efficiency of the public medical supply chain.

Over the years, supply chain practitioners have pursued several models that ensure efficient product delivery.

Complex parts used to manufacture airplanes in Everett, Washington in the United States or even the mind-blowing clockwork of supplies, transmission technology, equipment, cars and fuel for Formula One racing teams 1.

If it can be done for such complex missions, we can definitely find the right supply chain solution for vital healthcare products.

Over the past few months, Kemsa has made tremendous progress focused on organizational reforms. The Authority has adopted IT solutions and streamlined procurement and inventory management while addressing human resource management challenges to ensure the organization remains fit for purpose.

For universal healthcare coverage (UHC) nationwide scaling, Kemsa reduced order processing time from 46 days in February 2021 to 16 days.

In recent days, we have also started the rollout of automated procurement, including the issuance of certified Local Electronic Purchase Orders (LPOs).

To guide local manufacturers and enhance their competitiveness, we have also published the Specifications for Essential Diagnostic Supplies (SEDS) and Specifications for Essential Medical Supplies (SEMS) on the Kemsa website to ensure alignment with Kenya’s Essential Medicines List.

As we mark the World Health Day season, we celebrate the selfless and patriotic Kenyans working at Kemsa who have facilitated positive health outcomes by prioritizing the well-being of our people.


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