Hon. Minister of Health Receives New Global Fund Supply Chain Lead for Nigeria
The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGoN) with the collaboration and support of International Donors/ Partners has continued to put in resources to enhance access to healthcare through the availability of medicines and other health products for the Nigerian populace. To achieve this aim, several partners including the Global Fund [TGF], USAID, GAVI, UNFPA, BMGF etc in agreement with GON after extensive deliberation began the process to streamline support to the country with funds, medicine donations as well as technical expertise in improving medicines and health commodities supply chain management with a view to improve efficiency and effectiveness through an uninterrupted availability of health commodities. The Global Fund has been instrumental in ensuring integration of the public healthcare space especially with HIV/AIDs, TB and Malaria commodities receiving full priority.
To ensure this integration process is seamless through the Nigeria Supply Chain Integration Project; the Global Fund dedicated a Portfolio Lead to Nigeria to oversee the development of work plans, disbursement/judicious use of funds and assessment of intervention progress among others. Patrick Githendu was given this mandate by the Global Fund and he is now passing the torch to Shimelis Belaineh who will now anchor proceedings of integration in Nigeria.
The team lead by the National Coordinator, Pharm. Linus Odoemene comprised Patrick Githendu, Shimelis Belaineh, Keri Maimuna, Dr. Ogaba Ogbu and both NSCIP Managers (Pharm. Martins Onyia and Pharm. Talatu Kassim), were received by the Hon. Minister of Health; Prof Isaac Adewole in his office at the Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Nigeria.
High-points of Visit
Patrick Githendu: Expressed delight and satisfaction with the work done in Nigeria (since 2009) and praised the Hon. Minister of Health for assembling such a willing team especially considering the dedication to integration by the Director, Food and Drugs Services (Pharm. G.M.O Chukwumah) and the National Coordinator (Pharm. Linus Odoemene). He further intimated that he has been given a new challenge in the East and Southern part of Africa and would really miss working in Nigeria. He acknowledged the real commitment by the Nigerian Government towards integration as this has allayed the initial fears by the Global Fund on the wrongly perceived high risk of implementation from the start. He called for the government to continuously support the Global Fund in its efforts especially in providing Shimelis with an equally veritable platform to function.. He clearly stated that ensuring sustainability of the investments made by donors so far was the biggest risk and therefore the Global Fund appreciated that the Hon Minister of Health had agreed to chair the National Warehousing Advisory Committee that will set and monitor standards for warehousing and distribution of health commodities.
Pharm. Linus Odoemene: Praised the Hon. Minister of Health for being a champion of Supply Chain and expressed confidence that the Ministry will as usual fulfil the promise of more funds pledged to the National Product Supply Chain Management Programme. He explained that this is crucial for ownership and meaningful sustainability. He freely gave Patrick Githendu an excellent score in his time overseeing Nigeria’s supply chain portfolio on supply chain at the Global Fund. He expressed sadness at his departure but wished him well in his current endeavour. He promised to provide Shimelis a viable platform to work and assured that the NPSCMP is well positioned to ensure the transition is seamless.
Prof. Isaac Adewole: The Hon. Minister wished Patrick the very best in his new venture and assured Shimelis of continuous cooperation by the Nigerian Government. He expressed pure delight at Global Fund’s role in his recent commissioning of the Abuja Premier Medical Store and also looks forward to doing same in Lagos. He enjoined the team to see to the replication of such integrated structures in different zones of the country. He pledged his continuous support to all integration efforts in the Country most especially as it affects the Primary Health care and insist that this learning curve granted Nigeria by the Global Fund will be replicated in making available more political will for the sector and also engender the right enabling environment.