Health Service Supply Chain practitioners 2018 conference opens in Wa

By D.I. Laary, GNA

Wa, Oct. 26, GNA – The Health Service Supply
Chain Practitioners Association, Ghana (HESSCPAG) on Thursday opened its 11th
Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Continuous Professional Development programme
in the Upper West Regional Capital, Wa.

This is the first time the Association is
holding a national conference in the Region since it was first launched in
February 2008 with the motto – value for money, accountability and
professionalism.

The theme for this year’s conference was:
“Sustaining the gains of public health supply chain reforms in Ghana: Framework
contracting, last mile distribution, logistics management information systems
and warehouse optimisation”.

Mr Edwin Adinortey Agbugbla, HESCPAG National
President, said the rational for the AGM and the Continuous Professional
Development programme was to update skills and knowledge of members on new
trends of managing supplies and other logistics in the health sector.

He also said the 23-worded conference theme
was strategic as “it demonstrates the association’s resolve to sustain the
current Public Health Supply Chain reforms in Ghana”.

They were however worries about growing human
resource gap in the health procurement and supply chain area at various
administrative levels across the 10 regions.

“A lot of our officers have gone on retirement
in recent times and there have been no replacements,” Mr Agbubla said: “It is
our wish that financial clearance be given in order to recruit new staff to
place them”.

He also called for support for practitioners
to be made part of core management at the various regional and district levels
as it pertains currently at the national level.

“This will enable them [practitioners] have
the opportunity to bring their rich experiences to bear in public procurement,”
he said.

Dr Abudulai Abubari, the Upper West acting
Regional Director of Ghana Health Service, highlighted the important role of
public health service supply chain practitioners to advancing healthcare.

Ghana’s public health sector depends heavily
on availability of commodities like medicines and non-medicine consumables to
improve health outcomes such as reducing child and maternal mortalities,
improving coverage of service and ensuring efficiency in the use of health
resources.

But Dr Abubakari said: “The reality however is
that these laudable objectives can only be achieved if the health sector has
the right health commodities together with other logistics”.

For the objectives to be achieved, he said,
health service supply chain practitioners ought to be supported to be play
their critical role in ensuring availability of health commodities at service
delivery points.

He recounted how the supply chain
professionals assisted in adopting initiatives and strategies that ensured
delivery of health commodities and other logistics at service points.

These interventions included logistics
management information system, last mile distribution and framework contract
arranged.

Dr Abubakari lamented about the grave human
resource challenge facing the health sector in the region and appealed to
practitioners to accept postings to the Upper West Region.

“The Region can currently boast of only 14
supply chain practitioners managing 11 district health directorates, eight
hospitals and four polyclinics” he said.

“I therefore want to use this opportunity to
make a passionate appeal to our brothers and sisters…to accept postings to the
region”.

Participants at the three-day conference are
expected to be taken through deployment of new technologies like the use of drones
in distributing emergency medicines, preparation for procurement audits and
basic human resource policies.

The Association has over 700 procurement and
supply personnel within the health sector charged with the responsibilities of
ensuring efficient flow of logistics functions including procurement management
for effective health service delivery throughout the country.

GNA

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