• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Why partnerships are key to improving drug access

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Amina Baloni, commissioner for Health, Kaduna State has urged states to leverage public-private partnership (PPP) models to improve access to affordable health consumables across public health facilities in their state.

She said acquiring sufficient quantities of life-saving commodities such as drugs and medical kits as well as warehousing for use when needed could be challenging when the supply chain is weak.

But with a PPP arrangement with local pharmaceutical companies facilitated by ARC_ESM, the state has increased the availability of essential medicines and strengthened its supply chain systems, she said speaking at a leadership breakfast meeting in Ikeja Lagos.

“At the heart of this is the strengthening supply chain system, and implementing a scale-up plan for primary health care centres on the One Public Health Supply Chain Network operation,” she said.

She also highlighted the need for states to adopt technology and other innovations such as drones to address challenges with last-mile distribution. This would aid access to health services in hard-to-reach areas with difficult terrains or affected by insecurity, eliminating delays in delivery of lifesaving commodities and ensuring availability which will ultimately improve the key health indices in the state.

The meeting was an opportunity to showcase the current PPP between the Kaduna State Ministry of Health and pharmaceutical groups and to provide an opportunity for leadership from both the public and private sector to share learning, challenges, and opportunities for collaboration to improve the availability of health commodities at the last mile across states.

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A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Sokoto and Nasarawa states drug management agencies and the local pharmaceutical manufacturers under PMG-MAN.

Fidelis Ayebae, chairman of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) said that since the initial PPP was signed between Yobe State and the local pharmaceutical companies in 2020, more states in the country are adopting the model to strengthen their supply chain and close the gap in access to medicines.

For instance, Kaduna State is able to achieve direct access to local manufacturers and shared accountability for medicine quality.

Participating stakeholders were the Department of Food and Drugs Services, Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and commissioners for Health of the following states – Lagos, Yobe, Nasarawa, Sokoto, Kano, Cross River, Ogun, Bauchi, Gombe and Borno.

Others are the Juhel Nigeria Limited, SKG Pharma Nigeria Limited, Orfema Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Bond Chemicals Industries Ltd, Bentos Pharmaceuticals, Phamatex Pharmaceuticals, Drugfield Pharmaceuticals, Nemel Pharmaceuticals; LifeBank Technology and Logistics Services Limited; and the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group.