As part of its efforts to increase the availability of medicines in Senegal, in 2016, the Ministry of Health (MoH) worked with its development partners, including the Africa Resource Centre (ARC), to create an informed push model to facilitate the effective delivery of medicines to the last mile. This project was called Yeksi Naa and was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and MSD. It relied on third-party logistics providers to manage inventory and delivery of health products at the last mile. During its initial phase, the project was hugely successful and contributed signiﬁcantly to reducing stock-outs and improving the availability of medicines. However, during the scaling phase, some limitations were experienced. The programme was paused for these challenges to be assessed and addressed before the approach was applied more extensively.
Following a request from the MoH, between 2019 and 2020, ARC led a team of expert consultants to evaluate Yeksi Naa’s operating model.
This evaluation revealed challenges throughout the health supply chain, including limits in the governance model, lack of reliable information for evidence-based decision making, inadequate planning processes, and costly distribution.
The initial evaluation identified four workstreams: public financial management, planning and inventory management, IT landscaping, and distribution network optimisation.
The MoH also appointed ARC and its partners to conduct a further in-depth analytical study on the public health supply chain operating model. This Yeski Naa complementary study was launched in 2021. ARC consultants conducted it in close collaboration with multi-departmental technical and steering committees from the MoH.
In this phase of work, MSD provided technical assistance to the project team to identify adapted solutions for planning and network optimisation.
The study showed that outsourcing storage and distribution to the private sector is highly recommended.
OUTCOMES AND IMPACT
ARC’s support to ministries of health focuses on strengthening six supply chain elements.
The work on the Yeksi Naa complementary study in Senegal strengthened five areas: strategy, improvement roadmap, governance, policies and research, and solutions proposals.
LEVERAGING PRIVATE SECTOR EXPERTISE
Key elements: strategy and policies and research
ARC is facilitating knowledge sharing and capacity building between private pharmaceutical companies and the public health supply chain.
IMPACT: Private pharmaceutical best practices and tools have been benchmarked so they can be applied to the public sector.
MOBILISING RESOURCES FROM MULTIPLE SECTORS
Key element: governance
In response to the learnings from the 2021 study, ARC will support the MoH in mobilising resources using government funds, ﬁnancial and technical partners, and private sector partners
IMPACT: Pooling resources will contribute to an increasingly effective public ﬁnance management workstream.
CONNECTING GOVERNMENT WITH PRIVATE SECTOR EXPERTISE
Key elements: policies and research and solutions proposals
ARC oversaw the coordination of multiple consulting partners to leverage different areas of expertise when formulating the study.
IMPACT: Experts from four workstreams provided input into the complementary study.