The supply chain leaders forum


Health supply chain leaders from more than 20 countries met in Bangkok in March for the inaugural Supply chain leaders forum (SCLF). The event, organised by People that Deliver (PtD) and Upavon Management, and supported by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was held on the sidelines of the PtD Global Indaba, the only global conference on human resources for supply chain management.

The SCLF offered a platform to bring together donor organisations and government supply chain leaders to discuss how governments can transition to a country-led approach while meeting healthcare challenges.

According to Dominique Zwinkels, executive manager of People that Deliver, “If we’re talking about the transition from donor support to a country-led approach then donor organisations and country representatives must come together to talk about their national health supply chain priorities and to plan their routes to self-sufficiency.”

The discussions centred on how governments and donor organisations can support these country transitions and ensuring that supply chain innovations are scalable, sustainable and aligned with the long-term health needs of populations. How to develop and maintain a skilled workforce was central to this discussion as workforce development will be integral to countries’ future plans.

Ed Llewellyn from the Global Financing Facility, a participant at the event, said, “It’s really important that we have these sessions to bring a range of voices together and hear what the challenges are for countries. If we’re going to be patient-centric it’s really important that we work with the organisations that have that accountability to their populations.”

Strategies for embedding a patient-centred approach within supply chain management was one of the five themes discussed. This discussion included funding mechanisms to support the transition and attendees examined ways to think strategically about patient-centric supply chain design.

Souleymane Soumaré, General secretary of National Supply Pharmacy in Senegal said, “It is an opportunity for me to learn and to exchange with other countries in order to build the right strategy for supply chain management.”

The event drew to a close with representatives from all countries signing the Bangkok call to action, which signifies their intent to invest in country systems to support sustainable, high-performing and secure health supply chains that improve access to and promote the appropriate use of quality assured health products. The commitment centred on three pillars: national stewardship, patient centricity and innovation and resilience. In discussing the path towards achieving these pillars attendees coalesced on five enablers that countries and donors can leverage for investment and coordination: governance and policy, sustainable finance and private sector, data and information, future ready workforce and technology.

The SCLF is expected to be held regularly and PtD will organise another instalment later this year.

See the supply chain leaders forum with your own eyes in this video.