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Better healthcare supply chains are in the hands of the youth

It is estimated that half of the world’s population of more than seven billion people is under the age of 30. They are today and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, innovators, workers and leaders. According to SAPICS (The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management), young people have the power to improve the health outcomes of their communities and countries, and cultivating a pipeline of young talent in public and private healthcare supply chains is a global imperative.

A powerful panel discussion that is on the agenda at the upcoming SAPICS Conference for supply chain professionals will examine the importance of youth capacity building to enhance the performance of healthcare supply chains to improve the availability of health supplies and life-saving medicines. The panel will be facilitated by Chemonics International, an international development company that works with organisations like the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and other bilateral and multilateral aid donors, and has a global network of experts working in more than 75 countries. Chemonics is a coalition member of People that Deliver (PtD), a global initiative that aims to improve health outcomes by promoting sustainable workforce excellence in health supply chain management. PtD’s Secretariat provided key insights for this panel discussion.

“Although they consititute some of the more vulnerable population groups in some settings, youth of all genders have incredible potential and ingenuity which can generate measurable impact on public health,” comments Rachel Hampshire, Task Order Director, Global Health Supply Chain – Technical Assitance Francophone Task Order, at Chemonics. “Supply chain management in both the private and public sector needs to cultivate young talent, who can serve as the next generation of health logisticians.”


SAPICS delegates will have the opportunity to learn more about the inclusion of youth-centred programming across global health supply chains and how to best leverage their unique skills and experience. “This panel discussion will showcase best practices, youth-focused workforce training programmes that combine technical and employability skills development with on-the-job training and support,” Hampshire explains. The panelists include representatives from Chemonics, Kuehne Foundation, Pamela Steele Associates, USAID, and Young Logistician Professional Program Benin. They will share their experiences from various global health supply chain projects to highlight the benefits of youth capacity building on enhancing supply chain performance and improving health outcomes, and how gender and socio-economic considerations are taken into account in cultivating the youth workforce of both the present and future.

A recurring challenge in human resources for supply chain management, notes Hampshire, is the high level of staff turnover at warehouses and health facilities. “This further highlights the need to invest in and cultivate young professionals through pre-service training,” she says.


Now in its 42nd year, the annual SAPICS Conference is Africa’s leading education, knowledge sharing and networking event for supply chain professionals. This year, it will be a virtual event on 23 and 24 November because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For further information or to register for SAPICS 2020, call 011 023 6701 or email info@SAPICS.org.za. Up-to-the-minute information is also posted on the SAPICS website: www.sapics.org.za



Since its foundation in 1966, SAPICS, The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management, has become the leading provider of knowledge in supply chain management, production and operations in Southern Africa. SAPICS builds operations management excellence in individuals and enterprises through superior education and training, internationally recognised certifications, comprehensive resources and a country-wide community of accomplished industry professionals. This community is ever-expanding and now includes a multitude of associates in other African countries as well as around the globe. SAPICS is proud to represent the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) as its exclusive premier channel partner in Sub-Saharan Africa. Established 41 years ago, the annual SAPICS Conference is the leading event in Africa for supply chain professionals.  The 2020 SAPICS Conference will be a virtual event on 23 and 24 November 2020. For more information visit http://www.sapics.org


About Chemonics

Founded in 1975, Chemonics is an employee-owned international development consulting firm that works in more than 75 countries around the globe. Our network of approximately 5,000 specialists pursue a higher standard in development every day to help clients, partners, and beneficiary customers achieve results. Chemonics performs its work for clients including the U.S. Agency for International Development, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and other bilateral and multilateral aid donors. Chemonics leads the design and implementation of projects, and captures, analyzes, designs, and shares best practices and innovative solutions in global health, supply chain, and the intersection of these sectors. Chemonics implements multiple global health supply chain projects such as the USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) project, the USAID GHSC-Technical Assistance Francophone Task Order, the Global Fund Ghana Logistics Management Information System project, and the Global Fund Nigeria Warehousing and Distribution Services project. For more information visit https://chemonics.com/