Engaging the Private Sector to Improve Local Health Service Delivery in a Pandemic
On Monday, September 27th, Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) held “Engaging the Private Sector to Improve Local Health Service Delivery in a Pandemic.” The event was part of the CCA- Health Security and Resilience Initiative (HSRI). The Roundtable served as an opportunity to discuss opportunities and challenges in the public health supply chain and the role of the private sector in advancing healthcare needs.
Moderated by Temitope Iluyemi, Senior Director for Global Government Relations in Africa for Proctor and Gamble, the Roundtable highlighted the role of partnerships and collaborations in advancing supply chain management (SCM) through capacity-building opportunities and innovations in regulatory mechanisms in health.
Panelists included Azuka Okeke, CEO of Africa Resource Centre for Excellence in Supply Chain Management; Julia Spencer, Associate Vice President of Global Vaccine Policy for Merck & Company; Patricia Obozuwa, Vice President for Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability for Coca-Cola; and Dr. Muyiwa Atebe, Director Primary Health Care for PATH.
Using a mix of case studies and lessons learned, Panelists recognized the importance of addressing upstream and downstream supply chain management issues. A multi-pronged approach is necessary to address both upstream and downstream issues, including addressing the human capital and infrastructure needed to support robust supply chain management for resilient health systems in Africa.
Azuka of the Africa Resource Centre for Excellence in Supply Chain Management focused on the need to expand supply chain management training, citing the multiplier effect across sectors which comes from strengthened human capacity in supply chain management in the health sector. Similarly to other Panelists, she stressed the vitality in preparing the private sector to engage with governments to create enabling environments for Private-Public Partnerships.
Obozuwa of Coca-Cola touched on the importance of resilient systems and the role of the private sector. Through Coca-Cola’s network, the company was able to leverage their distribution and system network and apply it to strengthening health systems. She emphasized the need to capitalize on the assets of the private sector such as strategic marketing strategies or data collection through technology to promote more robust Private-Public Partnerships.
When sharing key lessons learned by Merck & Co., Spencer emphasized the need to encourage incremental vaccine innovations that promote simpler and efficient supply chains. She emphasized the role of regulatory processes in streamlining production and distribution of vaccines. Through regulatory harmonization, manufactures can ship vaccines from one country to another or repackage easily and reduce wasted doses.
Dr. Atebe of PATH stressed the importance of digital health in order to provide a people-centered approach to primary health care. He echoed the sentiments of Spencer at Merck & Co., of the need for improvement of regulatory environments to enable more private sector engagement and innovation in supply chain management.
The need for robust supply chain management to ensure existing cold chain capacity, adequate distribution of vaccines and health services, and equitable access of services is paramount for the optimization and improvement of local health service delivery.
Each Panelist provided key insight and ideas as to the role and necessity of strategic, effective private sector engagement. As African governments seek to advance their health care systems, particularly the public health supply chain, private sector engagement can significantly impact and accelerate the meeting of patient needs and improving the availability of health commodities.
This event was part of HRSI’s convening of major U.S. and African leaders, corporations, multilateral organizations, foundations, and other stakeholders to collaborate on developing policy recommendations, promoting strategic partnerships, providing critical Africa health- related information, and facilitating investment to strengthen Africa’s health systems security and resilience.
Moderator: Temitope Iluyemi, Senior Director, Global Government Relations, Africa, P&G
Patricia Obozuwa, Vice President, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability, Coca-Cola
Azuka Okeke, CEO, Africa Resource Centre
Dr. Julia Spencer, Associate Vice President, Global Vaccine Policy, MSD
Dr. Muyiwa Tegbe, Deputy Director, Primary Health Care, PATH