In Zambézia province, VillageReach is working with the government to implement the USAID Last Mile Supply Chain (LMSC) Program, an intervention to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the distribution of medicines. LMSC uses outsourced fourth-party logistics providers (4PLs) to manage distribution and transfer the processes and tools to the government of Mozambique.
Partnerships are a key component for program implementation, and engaging private sector proves to be an effective approach to ensure medicine delivery to the health centres.
“The outsourcing reduced the waiting time to take medicines to the health facilities, we just need to send the plan to private partner managing the logistics. Previously we could not transport huge volumes of medicines due to the size of the vehicles we used, but now we can easily transport all medicines we need”, states David Viegas, Provincial Warehouse Manager in Zambézia.
“The outsourcing means less burden in the distribution of medicines and allows us to channel that logistics capacity to other areas at DPS. For us outsourcing is a guarantee that we will have medicines timely available at the health facilities”, added Blayton Caetano, Chief of Medical Assistance Department at DPS Zambézia.
Concerning the involvement of a private sector partner, Mr. Viegas explains that “the presence of a private company is definitely an added value for the distribution process. The vastness of our province and the fact that the same vehicles we used to distribute medicines could be used for other activities, affected our distribution plans in the past.”
Additionally, Mr. Caetano regards the involvement of a private company as a learning opportunity to improve DPS internal procedures to manage distribution of medicines in the future, when there may not be partner’s funding. For Bolloré, working with DPS to distribute medicines is also a learning opportunity, taking into account the sensitivity of medicines, with different protocols from other items. “Bolloré had never transported medicines, but with continuous trainings, the dispatch clerks are already familiarized with procedures on how to handle medicines”, stated Shabana Gafar, Bolloré Implementation Manager for the LMSC program.
The LMSC program is supported by the Ministry of Health and leadership of Centre for Drugs and Medical Supplies (CMAM) and the Provincial Government of Zambézia. It is funded by USAID and implemented by VillageReach, in partnership with the Bolloré Transport & Logistics.
VillageReach works with governments to solve health care delivery challenges in low-resource communities. Our programs focus on increasing access to quality health care at the last mile, or the point at which services are delivered. We develop and implement new ideas and approaches to ensure vaccines and medicines are available, increase the capacity of health workers and ensure they have access to data to improve health. Our work improves the lives of more than 20 million people in sub-Saharan Africa.