By Muhammad Fareed
Since 2009, the Government of Sindh has benefited from U.S. Government (USG) support through John Snow Incorporated (JSI) – DELIVER PROJECT (component 4 of the USAID | Maternal and Child Health Program). The project improves essential health commodity supply chains by strengthening logistics management information systems (LMIS), streamlining warehousing and distribution systems, identifying financial resources for procurement and supply chain operations, and enhancing forecasting and procurement planning.
After the 18th Constitutional Amendment in Pakistan in June, 2011, where all functional responsibilities were devolved from the federal level to provinces, the Departments of Health (DOH) and Population Welfare Department (PWD), Government of Sindh had requested the JSI – DELIVER project in 2012 to provide technical support in developing Sindh specific public health supply chain policy guidelines and manuals and build the capacity of public workforce on use of documents.
The Project in collaboration with both the departments has developed various manuals which respond to specific requirements of Government of Sindh. These manuals include “Essential Medicines Lists” for primary and secondary level health facilities, “Procurement Manual for Medicines and Supplies”, “Contraceptive Procurement Manual”, “Standard Prequalification and Bidding Documents” for international procurement “Integrated Contraceptive Logistics Manual”, “MNCH Very Essential Medicines List”, and “Vaccine & Contraceptive LMIS Users’ and Facilitators’ Manuals”. The WHO and Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (SPPRA) have reviewed and endorsed the Essential Medicines List and procurement manuals respectively.
Dissemination Seminar & handing over JSI – DELIVER Project supported Policy Guidelines and Manuals to Govt of Sindh
On 14th December, 2015, the JSI – DELIVER PROJECT organized a Dissemination Seminar on ‘Logistics & Supply Chain Policy Guidelines and Manuals’ at a local hotel in Karachi. The Seminar was followed by handing over of project supported Supply Chain Policy, Standards & Operational Guidelines, Manuals and Documents to the Health and Population Welfare Departments, Government of Sindh. The ceremony was co-chaired by both Secretaries of Health and Population Welfare Departments – Government of Sindh, and attended by high level officials including Director General Health, Special Secretary Health; Managing Director, Sindh PPRA; senior staff from Planning & Development, Finance, Health and Population Welfare Departments, Donor Agencies, development partners, NGOs, private sector and media representatives.
Dr. Saeed Ahmed Mangnejo, Secretary Health said that the health department is highly grateful to USAID for the marvelous technical and financial support they have provided to the department during the last six years through the DELIVER project for sustainable strengthening logistics and supply chain management system of the province of Sindh. This is the result of long-lasting coordination between USAID and Health Dept., series of milestones have been achieved in terms of sustainable strengthening health system and improving indicators.
Emphasizing on the training of officials done during this project, he said that this training will play a vital role for sustainable implementation of logistic and supply chain interventions in the province. He committed that Sindh Health Department is now self-sufficient in documentations and manuals and it is our responsibility to take benefit by implementing it in high spirit at all levels.
Mr. M. Saleem Raza, Secretary, Population Welfare Department thanked and acknowledged USAID support for massive logistics reforms through implementation of LMIS, commodity support. He also requested USAID to continue their support in future for streamlining procurement, logistics and supply chain issues. He talked about the technical assistance for developing invaluable policy documents and manuals which will remain a sustainable source of guidance for procurement, storage and distribution of health commodities, ensuring stocks availability at Service Delivery Point level across the province.
Dr. Hassan Murad Shah, DG Health said that Sindh Health Department is gratified to USAID for their technical and financial assistance provided through its JSI – Deliver project. The project has provided technical assistant in strengthening the supply chain system and data visibility through web based logistics management information system (www.lmis.gov.pk) for vaccines and contraceptives. He further elaborated that due to improve data quality, available at the highest level, planning and monitoring is now possible. He thanked JSI – DELIVER PROJECT for their technical support in developing and printing procurement manuals for medicine and supplies, contraceptive procurement manuals endorsed by the Sindh PPRA adding that it will be permanent source of guidance of procurement of health commodities in the province and ensuring stock availability at primary and secondary healthcare facilities across the province.
Dr. Abdul Rahim Soomro, MD Sindh PPRA said that these manuals and documentations will eventually help in all steps of procurement process and storage as well. He further said that the procurement is a continuous process and the procuring agency should be skilled enough to procure different commodities. He stressed that health and population departments should engage specialized personnel to deal with the procurement and guide all other departments.
Mr. Ashfaq Ali Shah, Additional Secretary, Population Welfare Department, Sindh in his address appreciated the efforts of USAID not only in health and population sector but other sectors as well. He said for the last six years, the project is providing contraceptive commodities without interruption and on timely basis. Mr. Shah added that training and capacity building of the officials of both health and population departments Sindh in procurement, forecasting, quantification and warehousing is a commendable effort on part of the project. Acknowledging the efforts of USAID, he said that USAID has always been at the forefront in providing assistance at many levels.
Mr. Inamullah Khan, Director Field Operations of USAID | DELIVER PROJECT in his welcome address briefed the participants about USAID’s support through its DELIVER PROJECT to the Sindh Government for sustainable strengthening, logistics and supply chain management system. Terming it the landmark achievement for both the departments, he said that the being part of the overall technical support provided by the project, around 50 publications and manuals, related to logistics and supply chain and trainings, developed in close coordination with Health and Population Welfare Departments, Sindh PPRA, WHO and UINICEF.
Dr. Shabbir Chandio, Health Specialist from USAID said that this achievement shows USAID recognition to the Sindh Govt to improve healthcare systems of the province. USAID through its DELIVER Project have also provided contraceptives and other commodities including TB medicines, HIV testing and safe blood transfusion kits besides providing support of both software and hardware. He acknowledged and thanked both the department for their leadership support and coordination.
Later on, in order to showcase project technical support to the Government of Sindh, a separate display area was established at corner of the event. Event participants visited the area and were briefed by the project staff on each supply chain and logistics related document. They took high interest in all manuals and policy documents and appreciated the support.
Dissemination Seminar & handing over JSI – DELIVER Project supported Policy Guidelines and Manuals to Govt of Punjab
The Project, in collaboration with DOH and PWD Punjab, organized a seminar on 21 October, 2015 at a Lahore to formally disseminate and handover all documents and manuals to the respective departments. The ceremony was chaired by the Advisor to Chief Minister on Health. High level officials including Director General Health and Population Welfare Departments, Donor Agencies, development partners, NGOs, private sector and media representatives participated in the event.
Advisor to CM on Health, in his key note address, appreciated and acknowledged the JSI – DELIVER project’s support for massive logistics reforms through implementation of LMIS, commodity support and capacity building of the public workforce. He also appreciated the support provided by USAID through the Project for EPI cold chain equipment, contraceptives, TB and Hepatitis control programs.
While talking to the participants during the ceremony, Director General Health Services Punjab, Dr. Zahid Pervaiz said that the department is highly grateful to the JSI – DELIVER project for the marvelous technical and financial support provided during the last six years for sustainable strengthening logistics and supply chain management system within the province of Punjab. He talked about the technical assistance for developing invaluable policy documents and manuals which will remain a sustainable source of guidance for procurement, storage and distribution of health commodities, ensuring stocks availability at primary and secondary level healthcare facilities across the province.
Both the departments committed that these manuals and publications will be used in letter and spirit at all levels of the supply chain for ensuring quality medicines and contraceptives for the general public of the province.
In order to showcase project technical support to all provinces and regional governments, a separate display area was established at corner of the event. Event participants visited the area and were briefed by the project staff on each supply chain and logistics related document. They took high interest in all manuals and policy documents and appreciated the support.
Media representatives from both print and electronic media covered the event appropriately. A press brief was shared by the DOH Punjab which was appeared in the local newspapers.