SAPICS joins global initiative to transform public health supply chains

Leading southern African supply chain association SAPICS has been appointed a board member of ‘People that Deliver’, a global initiative that aims to improve health outcomes by promoting sustainable workforce excellence in health supply chain management.

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‘We are very proud to have this opportunity to contribute to the global drive to develop and professionalise public health supply chains in order to improve access to critical medicines and save lives,’ comments SAPICS president Mungo Park. ‘More than half the world’s population lacks access to the most basic health services, and in many developing countries, people are dying because of inefficient supply chains.’

He stresses that the robust, reliable supply chains that are critical for positive health outcomes require a skilled, knowledgeable supply chain workforce. Since its foundation in 1966, SAPICS has become the leading provider of knowledge in supply chain management, production and operations in southern Africa. ‘SAPICS builds operations management excellence in individuals and enterprises through superior education and training, internationally recognised certifications, comprehensive resources and a country-wide network of accomplished industry professionals. This network is ever expanding and now includes associates in other African countries,’ Park expands.

The People that Deliver (PtD) initiative was established in 2011 as a global partnership of organisations focusing on the professionalisation of supply chain personnel. It is based on the global recognition that without trained professionals to manage health supply chains, essential medicines and other health supplies do not reach the patients who need them.

PtD is governed by a board representing governments, international donors, multilateral agencies, nongovernmental organisations, academic institutions, professional associations and private companies. Southern African supply chain association SAPICS joins a prestigious group of board members that includes USAID (United States Agency for International Development), UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) and The Global Fund (The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria), as well as academic institutions like MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). ‘We are delighted to provide a platform for People that Deliver and the National Medical Supply Fund of Sudan to share the success of their collaboration in Sudan at the 40th annual SAPICS Conference in June this year,’ enthuses Park

The SAPICS Conference is the leading event in Africa for supply chain professionals, and this year marks four decades of bringing supply chain professionals from around the world together to network and share knowledge in supply chain management. In line with the association’s recognition of the critical need to optimise healthcare supply chains, SAPICS has lined up a number of specialists in this area. Jordan-based Samer Almadhoun is a board member at the United Nations Global Compact. In his workshop, he will be discussing humanitarian supply chain learnings from Jordan, which has for many decades been a hub for logistics relief activities in the Middle East, especially during crises in neighbouring Palestine, Iraq and Syria. The Jordanian Government, with the help of international humanitarian agencies has rescued, aided and relocated millions of refugees utilising supply chain best practices.

Pamela Steele has over 25 years’ experience in logistics and supply chain management in the humanitarian and development sectors. She has worked for UNICEF in Copenhagen as a supply chain specialist focusing on programme and supply integration and capacity development. Her passion for bringing women into the humanitarian logistics field – where she believes they have enormous value to add – led to her co-founding AWESOME, the African Women in Supply Chain Management network, to address gender issues in the health and humanitarian supply chain community. She is also the founder of ‘Teach a Child-Africa’, a charity that provides schooling to AIDS orphans in her home country, Kenya.

This year’s SAPICS Conference will also host the South African Health Department’s chief director of sector wide procurement, Gavin Steel. Enabling improved healthcare in South Africa through an optimised supply chain implementation is the topic of his presentation, which highlights initiatives and plans to address the challenges faced in a country with one of the world’s highest disease burdens and a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, as well as tuberculosis.

The 2018 SAPICS Conference takes place in Cape Town, from 10 to 13 June. For further information, or to register, call 011 023 6701 or email info@sapics.org.za.

Up-to the-minute information is also posted on the SAPICS conference website: https://conference.sapics.org