A grant awarded to the United States based Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is aimed at improving public health supply chains in Africa. South Africa’s Professional Body for Supply Chain Management, SAPICS, has announced that it is a strategic partner with ASCM in the critical undertaking.

“ASCM will utilise this three-year grant to help foster the development of a regional supply chain management association, manage the evolution of a frontier supply chain maturity model and introduce globally recognised and locally adapted methods that will improve last mile availability in public health supply chains. SAPICS is proud and excited to have the opportunity to work with ASCM on this important initiative,” says SAPICS president Mungo Park.

“SAPICS’s involvement includes a seat on the Project Management Office, where we will leverage our long-standing experience and knowledge of African supply chain challenges to assist ASCM in the development and implementation of country-specific plans to elevate the maturity of local supply chain communities that directly impact supply chain reliability and the availability of life-saving medicines.”

ASCM CEO Abe Eshkenazi expands on the project’s goals: “Through this grant, ASCM will increase educational and economic opportunities for women and encourage healthier families and communities. ASCM will help solve critical public health supply chain challenges, including weak distribution systems and a lack of reliable monitoring and data collection mechanisms.

“ASCM believes that by improving supply chains, we have the opportunity to help improve lives, especially when it comes to underserved markets like those in Africa. This grant recognises the significant collaborative opportunity we have to implement global operating models that will not only improve public health supply chains, but also foster the overall advancement of end-to-end supply chain management in the region.

“We are honoured to receive this grant and work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve public health supply chains in Africa, helping to perpetuate smart, sensible global health development,” Eshkenazi concludes.