As part of its work to deliver increasingly effective healthcare in Access to quality and affordable essential health products and technologies (HPT) is pivotal to the successful delivery of health services in Kenya. The effectiveness of the HPT supply chain is critical to ensure the security and delivery of HPTs across all the levels of the healthcare system in an equitable, reliable, and cost-effective fashion. In this regard, the Kenyan Ministry of Health (MoH) established an HPT Division responsible for overseeing the distribution of all health products and technology across the country. These administrative changes prompted the need to develop a strategy to improve coordination, elaborate on strategic direction and investments, and enhance decision making at the newly formed division.
Therefore, in the third quarter of 2019, the MoH, with the support of development partners, began creating a national HPT supply chain strategy. The National Supply Chain Strategy (NSCS) aims to layout the new strategic thinking for strengthening supply chain systems for Kenya. In addition, the HPT Division needed to develop an implementation plan to accompany the NSCS. In mid-2020, the HPT Division initiated a broad-based consultative process for the development of the NSCS, which ARC was invited to join. ARC was requested to support the costing of the implementation plan activities, amongst other roles. This would inform the annual and multi-year operational budgets through the appropriate indication of the cost of implementation.
ARC responded in three ways:
- Provided access to subject matter expertise by seconding staff to contribute to the drafting, development, and review of the implementation strategy;
- Brokered a consultant to provide technical assistance to the costing process of the strategy; and
- Engaged Johnson & Johnson (J&J) experts and referenced their costing playbook/toolkit for the costing process.
The collaboration with J&J was guided by the engagement scope that was already in place between ARC and J&J, which details its areas of support to ARC since the beginning of the partnership in 2017/18. In the development of the NSCS, the ARC team and the J&J resource seconded to ARC held several virtual meetings to achieve clarity on the expectations of the process, jointly reviewed CVs of potential costing consultants, and participated in the inception meeting for the costing process. J&J provided a dedicated costing expert to work with the consultant to review costing methodologies and drafts of the costing outputs. The work was conducted over a period of approximately 30 working days and included consultation, conceptualising, and socialising of the drafts with the HPT Division and the NSCS consultative team.
A final costed implementation plan report for the NSCS is now available at the MoH at the HPT Division. The ministry officially launched it alongside the NSCS in January 2021. The success of the support provided by ARC to the MoH and stakeholders was enhanced by the expertise that J&J provided to ARC. This is yet another demonstration of how the design of the partnership between ARC and private sector subject experts can provide positive outcomes for MoH partners.
ARC’s support to ministries of health focuses on strengthening six supply chain elements. The work with J&J strengthened four of these six areas: strategy, improvement roadmap, solutions proposals, and budgets and investment cases.