Private Sector Collaboration Critical to Nigeria’s Public Healthcare, Says ARC

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Ayodeji Ake

To achieve efficient health supply chain, the Africa Resource Centre (ARC) has stated that private sector collaboration is key to delivering essential medical supplies and strengthening Nigeria’s healthcare system.

Speaking at the maiden ARC Partnership Forum in Lagos recently, the CEO, Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, Dr. Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq said the private sector has the expertise, resources and capabilities needed by the public health sector to build efficient, effective and resilient supply chain systems.

He said: “Collectively, the private sector possesses both tangible and intangible assets that give it a distinct advantage in tackling specific health issues in the country,” Dr. Muntaqa explained.

On his part, the Regional Director, Africa Resource Centre for Supply Chain, Azuka Okeke, revealed that ARC Nigeria was currently working to build a centralised and regional supply chain resource centre that can provide independent advice, develop partnerships and share experiences across countries to help ministers of health meet their public health goals.

“ARC is focusing on areas that collectively leverage supply chain expertise, tools and capabilities to support performance improvements in the public health system. These areas include supporting supply chain strategy, advocate for supply chain investments and provide independent advice and expertise; support Ministries of Health to shape investments and align donors and implementing partners; access private sector expertise, tools, methods and capability to improve supply chain transformations and supply chain management as well as broker partnerships to strengthen Ministries of Health capability and build long-term talent for supply chain in Africa,” Azuka explained.

Global Solutions Director, UPS Foundation, Jim Coughlan pointed out that the biggest opportunity is finding ways to engage the private sector given their knowledge level or intellectual capital in supply chain management.

“Supply chain leadership is a skill set that requires development. UPS and Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (GAVI) worked together on a program called Strategic Training for Executive Programme (STEP) which is currently running in Nigeria. That STEP program is about leadership in supply chain leadership. It also is a program for mentorship where organizations like UPS can be a part of the mentor program which stays engaged with the participants and shares that knowledge space.

“The STEP programme is based on a framework of professional competencies for supply chain managers. It brings in private sector innovation from logistics leader United Parcel Services (UPS) with the intent to help participants develop their problem-solving skills and foster effective team building approaches,” Coughlan explained.