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People that Deliver Newsflash - Sept. 2020

 
                                     September 2020 
 
People that Deliver Newsflash
 
In this issue:
  • PtD elects a New Coalition Chair and Deputy Chair
  • PtD Announces Grand Challenge “Last Mile Health Supply Chain COVID-19 Support” Awards
  • PtD’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • News from Partner Organizations: Chemonics International, FIP, IntraHealth International, MSH, Transaid, RHSC, and UNFPA  
  • Upcoming Events
 
PtD Elects a New Coalition Chair and Deputy Chair
 
 
PtD is excited to announce the results of our recent Coalition Chair and Deputy Chair elections. In August, PtD announced a call for nominations and the coalition member organizations cast their votes in September and selected Dr. Lloyd Matowe as Chair for another two-year term and welcomed Ms. Jenny Froome as Deputy Chairperson.
 
As the incumbent, Dr. Matowe has served as Chair with distinction. He brings a unique blend of academic experience as the Dean of a School of Pharmacy in Zambia and private sector, NGO, and donor experience through his technical implementing organization, Pharmaceutical Systems Africa (PSA). He is well connected and highly respected among the public health community in Africa. Dr. Matowe remains dedicated to the PtD mission, and during the next phase his objective will be to develop more linkages between PtD and countries
 
Ms. Froome is the General Manager of SAPICS, the Professional Body for Supply Chain Management and is also a Director and founding partner of Upavon Management, an event and association management company. She is a firm believer that supply chain management makes the world go ‘round and is committed to building a vibrant community of educated and professionally designated supply chain professionals throughout Africa.
 
The tenure period for these positions is two years with the possibility of renewal. Both our previous Chair, Dr. Lloyd Matowe, and Deputy Chair, Paul Lalvani, served two terms. PtD would like to thank Paul Lalvani for his indispensable leadership and guidance as Deputy Chair over the last two years.
 
The PtD Secretariat looks forward to working with Dr. Matowe and Ms. Froome to further implement PtD's vision, mission, and strategic goal to build a skilled, competent, and supported health supply chain workforce.
 
PtD Announces Grand Challenge “Last Mile Health Supply Chain COVID-19 Support” Awards
 
When a fast-moving pandemic occurs, people, systems and supplies must be ready to respond immediately. All the critical items needed for a pandemic intervention must be transported from around the world to the operation locations despite reductions in transport capacity. Even where trucks are plentiful, drivers may be in short supply —either because many are sick or because quarantine rules prevent them from going to work. The “last-mile” is a critical logistical challenge for healthcare and other essential items to communities most in need across sub-Saharan Africa. The final short journeys in poorly connected areas to directly reach those in need can be difficult. It is a challenge amplified by the speed and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning that delays can make the difference between life and death.
 
Thanks to a generous donation from the FIA Foundation, in July 2020 PtD launched the “Last Mile Health Supply Chain COVID-19 Support Program” Grand Challenge, to provide seed funding to promising projects in sub-Saharan Africa that address health commodity transportation and logistics challenges currently brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. After an extensive selection process, PtD is excited to announce that GreenLight Initiative, SafeBoda, Transaid, and Village Reach are the four awardees of the PtD Grand Challenge! For the next six months these organizations will be implementing the following projects:
GreenLight Initiative is a non-profit organization based in Nigeria with the mandate to improve road safety, logistics and transportation safety in Nigeria. Their Grand Challenge project will focus on safety training for truck drivers transporting medical supplies and ambulance drivers transporting COVID-19 patients. The training will help ensure that drivers can protect themselves from contracting COVID-19, enforce and advocate for COVID-19 safety protocols as they perform their jobs, and ensure that COVID-19 supplies are delivered to hospitals in a safe and timely manner. GreenLight will partner with the Ambulance/Transportation System for COVID-19 Response in Nigeria under the Federal Ministry of Health’s Hospital Services Department.
SafeBoda is an organization operating in Kenya and Uganda that began as a motorcycle ridesharing service. The company has since expanded to not only provide safe rides, but also deliver health products directly to customers’ doors. PtD’s Grand Challenge will support the scale up of SafeBoda’s SafeHealth initiative which aims to support their 1+ million low- and middle-income customers to stay home safely with access to quality healthcare products to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In the short-term, this initiative will help maintain the daily earnings of the more than 22,000 motorcycle drivers and medical facilities and pharmacies during the COVID-19 pandemic. This project has the potential for scale up to more users and communities as a long-term solution for reliable access to quality medicines and health products provided by pharmacies. See more news about SafeBoda below in the news from our Coalition Member organizations.
Transaid is a registered charity in the United Kingdom that works with partners and governments to solve transport challenges in developing countries. Transaid will collaborate with the Ministry of Health in Zambia to develop training content specific to the challenges faced by professional drivers. Working with their local partner, the Industrial Training Centre (ITC), based in Lusaka, and with satellite centers in the Copper Belt, Transaid will engage with transporters to ensure up to date and accurate information on COVID-19 is shared based on current national guidelines. The PtD Grand Challenge funding will also be used to develop a COVID-19 training module which will be integrated into the training already provided to private and public sector companies, and individuals learning to drive trucks and forklift trucks to ensure a level of preparedness against COVID-19 is embedded within the sector.
VillageReach is an NGO based in Seattle, Washington, that focuses on innovations that address the unique needs of weak health systems with an emphasis on strengthening the “last mile” of healthcare delivery. Since 2017, VillageReach has been supporting the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) government in implementing a streamlined supply system through the Next Generation of Supply Chains (NGCA) initiative. With the help of PtD Grand Challenge funding, VillageReach will ensure that community health workers in DRC receive the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) they need to maintain routine services by integrating PPE being donated into an already well functioning transportation system and supply chain. This project will provide the logistics workforce the information and training they need to respond to additional demands put on the supply chain during the pandemic. 
 
The PtD Grand Challenge projects kicked off in September and will run for a period of six months. PtD will provide status updates on our Grand Challenge awardees periodically through social media and via our newsletter. Be sure to follow PtD on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay connected. 
 
PtD’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
 
As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that health supply chain workers are essential for ensuring access to life-saving equipment and products. In the past few months, we have seen organizations across the globe fast-tracking innovative approaches to supply chain workforce strengthening. PtD wants to provide a platform for the organizations to share their innovative approaches so that the entire supply chain community can benefit. At its core, PtD is a knowledge hub for best practices in HR4SCM and we think this is the right time to bring together our community to discuss the changing landscape and process what these changes mean in the long-term for the supply chain workforce.
 
An overwhelming number of tools, resources, and guidelines related to COVID-19 have been developed since the pandemic began. To help our community members find the resources most relevant to their work, the PtD Secretariat created a page on the PtD website with a specially curated list of vetted resources relevant to the health supply chain workforce. They are organized into several categories and include links to online communities and training opportunities. This page also features the PtD COVID-19 and HR4SCM Advocacy Brief which calls for health supply chain workers to be included as part of the essential health workforce. The brief includes key advocacy messages, guidelines, and resources organized by the PtD Building HR for Supply Chain Management Theory of Change pathways. The brief is available in English and French.
 
The first webinar in PtD’s COVID-19 and HR4SCM webinar series took place on 10 June 2020. The online event was co-hosted with Chemonics International and was moderated by HRH2030 Project Director and coalition member Wanda Jaskiewicz. PtD Coalition Chair Dr. Lloyd Matowe presented alongside Peter Bolstorff and Glenda Maitin from ASCM, Innocent Ibegbunam from the GHSC-PSM Project in Liberia, and Joao Carriço from Adicional Mozambique. You can view the presentation here.
 
The second webinar in PtD’s COVID-19 and HR4SCM webinar series took place on 16 July. PtD and SAPICS co-hosted a French-language webinar which Emmanuelle Assy from the UNICEF DRC country office moderated with speakers Aline Mukerabirori from Management Sciences for Health, Dr. Sokhna Gaye from the National Pharmacy Association in Senegal, and Fernanda Debellian from the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM). The presenters shared their experiences and lessons learned working in health supply chains and the challenges faced by the supply chain workforce in Madagascar, Senegal, the DRC, and across the ASCM network. You can watch the recording here.
 
In August, the PtD Global Indaba Steering Committee members made the decision to postpone the upcoming PtD Global Indaba: A forum on Human Resources for Health Supply Chain Management (HR4SCM). This event, organized by PtD in partnership with IAPHL, IntraHealth International, Pharmaceutical Systems Africa, and SAPICS will now take place 1-2 September 2021 in Lusaka, Zambia. The PtD Global Indaba Steering Committee is currently accepting abstracts and will review them on a rolling basis. Abstracts related to the SC workforce and COVID-19 response that showcase the innovative ways in which you or your organization has addressed the staffing, skills, motivation, and working conditions of your SC workforce are welcome. Organizations can submit multiple abstracts and should indicate in their submission whether they would like their presentation to be considered for the 2021 PtD Global Indaba, for upcoming online events, or for both. Abstracts will be accepted until 30 April 2021. More information can be found on the PtD Global Indaba event site: https://ptdevents.org.za/
 
News from Partner Organizations: Special Focus on COVID-19 Response
 
For this edition of the PtD Newsflash, we are showcasing the work of our Coalition Member’s efforts to strengthen human resources for supply chain management as part of their COVID-19 response. 
Chemonics Develop s Guidance on Remote Supportive Supervision
 
In March, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. As the virus spread rapidly across the globe, Chemonics closed their corporate office buildings and most of our project offices and began working remotely. Facing unprecedented new challenges, ten key workstreams were quickly assembled under the umbrella of the PREPARE task force. These workstreams in turn, created an impressive cadre of job aids, project pivot trackers, case studies, knowledge products, and other resources to support our project activities continuity. The Chemonics’ Global Health and Supply Chain workstream produced Guidance on Remote Supportive Supervision During COVID-19 for health service deliver and supply chain providers when in-person meetings cannot happen. The document describes goals, considerations, and recommendations in this topic, and presents a practical case study on how to conduct remote supportive supervision in our USAID GHSC-PSM Mozambique office. 
 
Photo credit: Mickael Breard/GHSC-PSM. Taken in Zimpeto Warehouse, Maputo, Mozambique, during the annual inventory conducted in 2017
 
FIP Adapts Work to Strengthen the Supply Chain 
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has rapidly adapted its programmes of work in order to achieve its vision of a world where everyone benefits from access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and health technologies, as well as from pharmaceutical care. Strengthening the supply chain is an important part of this vision. FIP is continuing to provide support to pharmacists —key in the supply of medicines and medical products around the world — in a number of ways. FIP Virtual 2020, a three-week online programme of events, for example, included a seminar focusing on the impact of the pandemic on pharmaceutical education and training and on the development of the pharmaceutical workforce. This is especially pertinent because the pharmaceutical supply chain is being affected by COVID-19. Pharmacists also play a key role in combating substandard and falsified medical products in the pharmaceutical distribution chain. They detect these harmful products quickly when they have penetrated the supply chains, reporting them to authorities, and advising patients who have been exposed to them. FIP has partnered with the World Health Organization and selected African universities to develop a modular educational curriculum to educate future pharmacists on the dangers fake medicines and how they can ensure supply chain integrity. The curriculum will be deployed as soon as COVID-19 lockdowns in the participating universities are eased. 
Mali and Kenya Use Data to Forecast Health Workforce Needs for COVID-19
IntraHealth International
 
Ministries of health can strengthen and prepare their health systems to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by predicting how many health workers and hospital beds they need and where they need them. In Mali and Kenya, IntraHealth is helping the governments do just that.
 
Together, they’re using data from iHRISDemographic and Health Surveys, and other national information systems to apply World Health Organization (WHO) models that help countries:
  • Identify populations at risk for severe symptoms of COVID-19 due to underlying conditions such as HIV, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, and advanced age.
  • Model the timing and magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic to determine when and where frontline health workers should be available, how many will be needed, and the associated requirements for beds and ventilators.
  • Rapidly mobilize and prepare health workforces to address COVID-19, while minimizing negative impact on essential health services such as HIV/AIDS care and treatment, family planning, and maternal and child health care.
 
IntraHealth customized the WHO’s surge planning tools—including the Adaptt Surge Planning Support Tool and the Health Workforce Estimator—for African contexts to project COVID-19 cases and work with ministries of health to apply a tailored version of WHO’s Workload Indicators of Staffing Need (WISN) method.
 
IntraHealth piloted this approach in Mali and Kenya in April-June 2020. In Mali, results have been used to increase the number of beds allocated to COVID-19, reconsider cadres of health workers treating COVID-19 in advance of a surge in hospitalizations for moderate cases, and train teams in each region on the tools as the main means of workforce allocation for COVID-19 response.
 
In Kenya, the results have been used to mobilize resources at the county level in Mombasa in anticipation of a case surge. We’re now training Ministry of Health and county-level officials to implement the tools, as well.
 
Learn more on these methods in this recording of the recent webinar.
 
MtaPs: Improving the COVID-19 Response: Emergency Supply Chain Management in Bangladesh 
 
Even without the stress of a pandemic, procurement of medicines in Bangladesh can be a challenge. The absence of a digital health information system leaves the central administration unable to track the needs of health facilities, which leads to regular stock-outs and forces the population to pay for medicines out of pocket. When Bangladesh recorded its first cases of COVID-19 in March 2020, it was critical for the government to focus on making supply chain management as effective as possible to avoid any shortage of personnel protective equipment (PPE) and related products. 
 
To support the government of Bangladesh, the USAID Medicines, Technologies, and Pharmaceutical Services (MTaPS) Program collaborated with the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to develop the COVID-19 Supply Chain Management Tool, which provides the central administration with daily updates of the stock status at all facilities dedicated to combating COVID-19. MTaPS’ goal was to develop a tool that could be used with minimal training but could still provide the necessary information to suppliers and beneficiaries.
 
The new tool received encouraging feedback from the administration and was authorized for nationwide implementation. Two weeks after it was introduced, 75% of the country’s 658 COVID-19-dedicated health facilities were producing daily reports on their commodity status. Recently, daily reporting has increased to 97% with 80% timeliness (facilities reporting within the last three days), which has significantly increased the ability of the DGHS to make efficient and rational decisions on distribution of PPE. Dr. Rizwan Shameem, focal person at the DGHS Integrated Control Room, indicated how the tool is benefitting them: "This is a great tool for us [because] we are getting stock balance of PPE in different health facilities, and it helps us in rational distribution of PPE."
 
Unloading health commodities at a subdistrict hospital in Bangladesh. Photo credit: Md. Habib Mahmood, Regional Technical Advisor
 
Transaid Supports Truck Drivers in Uganda to Deliver Products Safely 
 
As truck drivers ensure that essential supply chains continue to function during the COVID-19 pandemic, many have been facing an increasing number of challenges. In particular, extended delays at border crossings in East Africa have placed many drivers in a position where they are unable to physically distance themselves from others, as well as contributing to increased levels of stress and fatigue.
 
In Uganda, some drivers were subject to hostility and stigmatization from local communities. In April, a Presidential address forbade truck drivers from using guest houses along their routes. Despite there being fewer vehicles in transit, it is likely that the risk per journey is increasing as many drivers are stressed and fatigued. This, added to less congested roads means vehicle speeds may be higher and the severity of crashes may in fact have increased.
 
Transaid has been working in Uganda with local partners Safe Way Right Way, the Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union and the Uganda Professional Drivers Network to ensure drivers are supported. Working with the Ministry of Health, Transaid designed COVID-19 and cab sanitation factsheets specifically for truck drivers. Wider sensitization is also being carried out through radio jingles targeted at mobile workers for national coverage.
 
In August, an outreach team of sixteen field officers compiled by the Unions, were trained to safely deliver COVID-19 and road safety sensitization to drivers at border crossings and rest stops across Uganda. Each truck driver also receives a washable face mask, a water container and soap so that they have the means to carry out frequent hand-washing and cab sanitization.
 
By building capacity in local transport associations Transaid is building resilience for the future, to help ensure essential workers are informed and equipped to continue maintaining vital supply chains. Transaid continues to seek the support of partners so to scale up this work and reach more drivers at this critical time.
 
The factsheets mentioned in this article are available in four languages at Transaid’s Knowledge Centre
 
Field officers being trained by Safe Way Right Way trainers to deliver COVID-19 sensitization. Photo credit: Transaid 2020
Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition: ForoLAC Takes Encuentros Online
 
Unfazed by the blows COVID-19 is dealing global event planning, the LAC Forum has successfully completed 12 of 13 virtual Encuentros for health ministry officials and UNPFA staff from nine countriesParticipants from Bolivia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay learned how the business intelligence tool SEPREMI provides visibility into country stock levels, thereby helping decision makers resolve both stockouts and overstocks. Participants also learned how to use a second tool, MIPLAN, to quantify the impact of COVID-related budget cuts on contraceptive use and to advocate accordingly. 
UNFPA: Motorcycle Taxis Deliver Contraceptives to Communities during the COVID-19 Pandemic
 
In Uganda, UNFPA together with health officials, Marie Stopes International, and financial support from the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda, is working within the ridesharing company SafeBoda to overcome barriers women and young people face in accessing sexual and reproductive services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures. Regular supply chains have been interrupted, with contraceptives, HIV test kits, pregnancy test kits and Mama Kits (a standard kit for clean, safe delivery) in short supply – but now these items can be ordered using an innovative mobile app that secures delivery to the buyer’s doorstep.
 
To order via the SafeBoda app, a user downloads it onto their smartphone, then selects items and pays with mobile money using SafeBoda credit, or cash on delivery. The closest listed pharmacy within a 7 km radius that has the item in stock is identified and linked to the nearest SafeBoda driver. The driver then picks up the item and delivers it to the user. SafeBoda drivers also deliver reproductive commodities to local health centres helping to fill gaps in the supply chain.
 
SafeBoda driver Moses Okanya, 25, has been delivering boxes of condoms to St Francis Hospital in Kakiri. He says this new responsibility is rewarding. “I feel I have played a role to reach my fellow young people, because if the condoms are not in the hospital, then the young people are going to put themselves at risk. Making the condoms available to them is something I am proud of,” he said.
Mr. Okanya takes precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while working, diligently wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer.
 
All reproductive health items ordered through the Personal Health shop are delivered free of charge. Free condoms provided by the government can also be ordered through the app. The service will continue post COVID-19, for a nominal delivery fee.
 
(Photo above) A SafeBoda driver sets off to deliver boxes of condoms to a health facility. ©AIC
 
Upcoming events
 
Health and Humanitarian Logistics Conference
 
The 12th annual Health and Humanitarian Logistics (HHL) Conference will take place online from 29 September to 1 October 2020. HHL provides an open forum to discuss challenges and new solutions in healthcare, disaster preparedness and response, and long-term development. This year’s conference theme is Pushing the Boundaries of Agility. Day three of the conference includes a panel on Protecting Supply Chain Essential Workers. Visit the conference website to view the agenda and to register.
 
Humanitarian Human Resources (HHR2020) Conference 
 
The CHS Alliance is hosting the HHR2020 Conference which will take place over four half days from 3 to 6 November 2020. HHR2020 will be an innovative and interactive online gathering for a growing global community of human resources practitioners, researchers, experts and people leaders collaborating to reflect and learn from each other as well as develop practical solutions. The goal of this year’s HHR is to raise awareness of the main lessons learnt from COVID-19 and together re-imagine the future of aid work. Learn more about the conference here.
 
Global Health Supply Chain Summit (GHSCS)
 
The 13th Global Health Supply Chain Summit will take place online from 9-20 November 2020. The theme for this year is Global Health Supply Chain Resiliency: Preparedness, Response, and Recovery with sub-topics on Supply Chain Design, Technology, Human Resources, Partnerships, and Governance. The deadline for abstract submissions has been extended to 30 September. Simultaneous translation in French and English will be available. For more information, please visit the event website.
 
SAPICS 2020 Annual Conference and Exhibition 
 
This year’s conference, originally scheduled for June, is now taking place 23 and 24 November 2020 online. This year’s theme is, Achieve Perfect 20/20 Supply Chain Vision. Supply chain professionals attending SAPICS 2020 will have their eyes opened to cutting edge global supply chain perspectives and innovative best practices guaranteed to help senior management improve business performance. View the program and more at https://conference.sapics.org/.
 
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