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GAVI STEP training seeks to strengthen supply chain leaders


Mr. Magloire Achidi and Mrs. Azuka Okeke during the GAI STEP training in Nigeria: Photos; leadership newspaper

Experts have said to improve immunisation coverage and subsequently reduce infant and child mortality in Nigeria, a strong supply chain (SC) system is essential. This requires the application of advanced technology from planning to cold chain equipment, data management, and distribution of commodities.

They said the supply chain for immunisation comprises all individuals, activities, structure, resources and planning relevant for facilitating effective and safe delivery of vaccines to those that need them. 

According to the group, as part of efforts to strengthen the SC leadership in governments, the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI), in collaboration with United Parcel Services (UPS), a private global logistics company, has developed the Strategic Training Executive Programme (STEP).

The Regional Director, Africa Resource Centre for Supply Chain (ARC), Azuka Okeke, explained that STEP presents a unique opportunity for countries like Nigeria to develop supply chain leaders who will advance transformation in effective and efficient immunization delivery. 

“One of the key areas of focus of the STEP training in Nigeria is building strong leaderships at national and state government levels that will drive ownership of health programs beyond vaccines management. ARC led the adoption of the STEP by the Nigerian government through providing insight on the relevance of the program to the decision-makers in immunization,” Azuka explained.She continued: “National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), through the advocacy support of ARC made a formal request to GAVI to implement the STEP strategy in Nigeria.”

The ARC, a collaboration between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, (PHN) serves as an advisor to the government on public health supply chain strategies and provides thought partnerships in the adoption of transformation agendas for supply chain improvement.”

Also the Supply Chain Consultant for GAVI, Magloire Achidi, explained that “GAVI recognises the critical importance of investing in skill development for global supply chain leaders to provide health supply chain management professionals and decision makers in various countries across the globe with leadership and management skills at all levels of the health system to enable them to overcome existing and emerging challenges.”

The Director, Public Health and Safety/Humanitarian, United Parcel Service (UPS), Kevin Etter, explained that the importance of leadership rings within every industry with leadership seen as a critical driver for success.

“Leadership is getting the work done through people. A leader sets direction motivates and builds an inspiring vision, as well as creates something new.  Leaders inspire others, possess decision-making capabilities, and should be focused on the vision to inspire others to the overall goal,” Etter stated.

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