ARC Nigeria Champions Health Sector Supply Chain

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Ayodeji Ake

To boost the Nigerian healthcare system, African Resource centre (ARC) has demonstrated it commitment in promoting public health and private sector supply chain system by partnering with Nigerian universities.

ARC Nigeria was conceived as partnership between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN) – as a central resource center to foster, mobilize and channel expertise and capacity within the private sector and academia to strengthen public health supply chains across the country.

The organisation seeks to deliver impact by raising the performance of health supply chains to increase the availability of medicines and health commodities at the last mile – through capacity enhancements of public health logisticians, supply chain process improvements, among others.

Speaking to journalists recently in Lagos, Country Director, ARC Nigeria, Pharm. Azuka Okeke explained that “ARC aims to foster more partnerships with universities across the country within the next three years. We are confident that these collaborations will lead to a sustainable increase in the number of adequately trained professionals with practical skills ready to make impact in public health and private sector supply chain systems in Nigeria.”

Okeke also explained that one major focus area of the ARC is to support effective development of local talent pools adequately trained to manage and operate public health supply chain and logistics systems, as well as for private sector supply chain systems in Nigeria and subsequently within West-Africa.

“ In effect, the ARC seeks to foster a supply chain revolution in Nigeria by facilitating local and international partnerships to foster in-country capacity for sustainable supply chain Education, Research and Innovation.

Continuing, she said: “ARC Nigeria’s medium to long term plan to spur development of local talent involves setting up a premier academic Center of Excellence on supply chain in partnership with local and international universities to ensure even distribution and promotion of supply chain knowledge and research across Nigeria.

“To this end, the ARC is also partnering with the Massachusetts Institute Technology’s Centre of Transport Logistics, MIT CTL, a leading global institute on supply chain management education and research, with proven track-record in setting up supply chain excellence centers around the world, connected through the MIT Global SCALE Network.”

Azuka further said ARC is also collaborating with multiple academic institutions in Nigeria, such as, the Universityof Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), University of Lagos (Unilag), Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka and Lagos State University (LASU) –to tap into as well as foster educational and research capacities on supply chain management. These collaborations are targeted at strengthening existing programs or establishing new supply chain management degree and certificate programs, through curriculum strengthening, faculty exchanges, joint research projects, student internships, and so on.

she revealed ARC Nigeria primarily seeks to deliver impact by raising the performance of health supply chains to increase the availability of medicines and health commodities at the last mile – through capacity enhancements of public health logisticians, supply chain process improvements, among others.