Despite the benefits of the devolved health system in bringing health services closer to the people, public health supply chains face diverse challenges, including new structures of procurement, irregular replenishment of commodities, difficult coordination among various levels of the health system, data gaps and increased responsibilities in decision making at the county level. This, notwithstanding the rising pressure for the supply chain to operate efficiently.
Overcoming these challenges requires competent cross-functional teams that will lead the charge in implementing the required changes. The inSupply project is supporting the IMPACT teams in ten counties in Kenya to learn and apply data and management practices. The teams bring together individuals playing critical roles in the county supply chain including leadership, service delivery, program coordination, and information management. You can read more about the IMPACT Team Network in our previous news item here.
The IMPACT teams hold monthly meetings at their place of duty to cement the knowledge gained from the inSupply trainings, measure progress in addressing supply chain challenges identified, recognize short term wins, and plan the next course of action for continuous improvement of the supply chain. During the meetings the inSupply project staff let the IMPACT team leader take charge while they play a more consultative role. Having a cross sectional team during the monthly meeting not only enriches the problem-solving process but also helps tackle the identified supply chain challenges from a “system wide” approach. Indeed, the Isiolo county pharmacist recognized the benefit of these IMPACT meetings when he noted, “these meetings have helped us knock down ‘walls’ separating departments as we are now working together for a common good of our county.”