Ensuring regular availability of essential medicines especially to peripheral
public health facilities remains a challenge in many countries of the African
Region. This could be attributed to the limited capacities and inefficiencies in
the procurement and supply management systems especially in the public sector.
Multiple partners and agencies continue to support governments through
provision of funds for the procurement of essential medicines especially for
priority diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. However,
resources are mainly invested on procurement of products, but less emphasis on
building national capacities to strengthening logistic support systems and
providing adequate training of personnel on inventory management. As a result,
many public sector procurement agencies are overwhelmed with additional tasks
and encounter difficulties to operate efficiently. Undoubtedly, the support from
donors has contributed to improve access to essential medicines. However,
ensuring greater coordination of agencies and multiple partners engaged in
various procurement and supply management activities is critical in order to
improve efficiency and make better use of available resources.
Even in disease programmes that receive adequate funding from partners, there
is stock-out and sometimes overstock of products due to the complexity of the
supply system in ensuring an efficient quantification process.
The monitoring and evaluation of supplies is also fragmented leading to
unreliable data on which quantification is made. Distribution is either
fragmented leading to high cost for the whole system or no funds are made
available for this activity when the responsibility is given to the national
central medical stores...