Aug 02, 2017 News
The Public Health Ministry, on Monday, received the Logistics Management Information System (LMIS) Manual which authorities say will help broaden laypersons understanding of the sector. They say it will also encourage more consistent scientific forecasting by professionals.
The Manual was developed and produced through support from the Supply Chain Management System (SCMS) through funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
The manuals will be distributed shortly to all public health facilities, nationwide.
“Everyone one of us should own this document,” Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence said.
USAID Country Director, Ms Caroline Healey, explained during the handing-over ceremony held at the Ministry’s Brickdam office, that insight from the document will put an end to stock outs, expiration of medicines and help guarantee that drugs, pharmaceuticals and medical supplies reach the beneficiaries “at the right time, at the right place, at the right quality and at the right price.”
Healey said that her agency was enthusiastic to brace the strengthening of the health-supply chain from the Ministry to the 10 Administrative Regions spanning the 216,000 square kilometres of the multi-cultural South American country.
Describing the manual as the “tool kit” for health sector employees, Healey predicted that following its guidelines will help eliminate the systemic difficulties which currently dog the local public health system.
Director of Regional Health Services (RHS), Dr Kay Shako, said the ‘tool kit’ will assist health care providers. Ordinary citizens will get an insight into the workings of the public health system so they will better appreciate the challenges endemic in the system.
“It will help underscore the reasons for shortages…not just perception but reality. It is enriched with information sufficient to coerce us to unlearn previous misconceptions about the supply chain management system, and adopt a new approach through an educated and informed position,” Dr, Shako said.
Stock outs complex issues which sometimes the average citizens find too far-fetched to believe despite official explanation.
“Health care providers within the primary care system play a pivotal role, in how medicines and medical supplies should be managed from the time of arrival to the health facilities to the time they are dispensed to patients,” Dr. Shako explained in the Foreword of the First Edition of the LMIS Manual.
She said the system is designed to ensure usage is monitored and to help inform decisions “when (and how much) drugs and medical supplies should be ordered”.
This helps health care providers to know precisely how to comply with LMIS to ensure “an adequate, efficient and effective supply of medicines and medical supplies at all health care facilities,” Dr. Shako wrote in the Foreword.
She said the manual outlines the procedures all health care providers must follow when reordering, receiving, storing, distributing or dispensing pharmaceuticals and health products within the public health supply chain.
According to Dr. Shako, “Every citizen in Guyana after reading this manual will understand the drivers of medicine and medical supplies shortages. Health care providers who ‘work the system’ must understand how critical it is to maintain the basic structure at every health facility in Guyana.”
Those who read the 84-page document will better appreciate the importance of logistics, storing pharmaceuticals and health products, conducting a physical inventory, recording and reporting, review of stock status, calculating how much to order, monitoring supervision and evaluation, according to the RHS official.
“I personally take pride in seeing all health facilities be supplied with an adequate amount of medicines so that every Guyanese citizen can have the appropriate care that is intended. I am concerned when citizens are being told they cannot be treated at a particular health facility because there are no medicines,” Dr. Shako added.
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