Logistics and Procurement Cell launched

ISLAMABAD: The government on Tuesday launched first Logistics and Procurement Cell in Pakistan with the support of USAID.Sohail Ahmad, Secretary Planning and Development Division, launched the first Logistics and Procurement Cell in the country.The USAID Pakistan is providing the supply chain and logistics support to the Government of Pakistan through the USAID “DELIVER PROJECT” which began operations in August 2009.The project works closely with the Planning and Development Division of Pakistan, Provincial and Regional Departments of Health and Population, UNFPA and non-government organizations (NGOs) to ensure contraceptive commodity availability at each level of the health supply chain.The USAID “DELIVER PROJECT”, forged partnerships across public and private sectors and the logistics and procurement cell developed towards sustainability and capacity building of Pakistan’s health and population sector.The web-based Logistics Management Information System is an essential ingredient of the `Logistics and Procurement Cell’ for policy, strategic and operational decision making based on evidence at all levels.LMIS is key to plan, procure, forecast, quantify and manage supplies and stocks at the district and sub-district health facility and community distribution levels.

The web based system is housed as sub-domain under the P&D division, which is accessible through internet worldwide, it is a tool to monitor supplies and consumption of health commodities in all 136 districts of Pakistan.The Project has already trained eighty LMIS operators from 15 districts and scaling up capacity building activities for other districts.After devolution a similar approach is being implemented at provincial levels as per the 18th Amendment.USAID has provided more than Rs 2.4 Billion contraceptive commodity support to Pakistan since January 2010.It is extremely important to monitor the flow and use of contraceptives and other health products for improving performance of procurements, allocation of resources, forecasting and quantification.

The LMIS cell at Planning and Development division is equipped to perform the aforementioned functions to ultimately improve the availability of commodities at every level and prevent stock outs at facilities.The USAID support through its DELIVER project has procured IT and office equipments. It is also installing an ITserver in P&D division to build government capacity on monitoring logistics.Sohail Ahmad Secretary P&D division, along with Dr. Muhammad Isa of USAID launched the Logistics & Procurement Cell.While speaking at the ceremony Sohail Ahmad, Secretary P&D division said that under the context of devolution the LMIS will provide powerful information on actual trends of contraceptive consumption and method mix at district and provincial level.He thanked USAID Pakistan for its financial support and appreciated “USAID DELIVER’s effort” in achieving major milestones in a very short time.

Dr. Isa in his remarks said, that USAID is providing support of more than of Rs.6 Billion for the rehabilitation of central warehouse, logistics information system, forecasting, procurement, contraceptive commodity security and commodity and equipment support for Tuberculosis, Immunization and hepatitis.Dr. Muhammad Tariq, Country Director USAID | DELIVER PROJECT said that Pakistan is learning the science of logistics and optimization of supply chain, within health and population sector’s, which is need of the time.He said LMIS cell was not possible without partnership and support from the federal, provincial and regional governments and NGOs and commercial sector. He said LMIS is a step towards sustainability and an integral component of health systems strengthening, it will ensure equitable supplies of health products to people till the last mile.He elaborated on the aims and objectives of establishing the Logistics and Procurement cell and how it will improve availability of health products throughout Pakistan. – Brecorder