Education and training

Some countries look to supply chain managers, others to health cadres such as pharmacists, to manage the supply chain with support from health workers with other educational or vocational backgrounds. Education and training programs and institutions—for both health sciences and management—should offer courses tied to health supply chain needs, standardize training for those already engaged in supply chain activities, and standardize in-service training and continuing education. Given that virtually all clinicians will engage in supply chain tasks during their professional life, SCM basics should be included in every health professional’s education. Many countries have integrated supply chain competencies into existing curricula, rather than provide separate and specialized education. For example, in 2012 SCM of health commodities was introduced into the curriculum of the National University of Rwanda’s Pharmacy Department in response to Ministry of Health needs (USAID | DELIVER Project n.d.). Establishment of regional training institutes that offer supply chain logistics courses in low-income countries is one example of a successful capacity-building intervention that is both locally driven and sustainable. People that Deliver has compiled a supply chain competency compendium that, while recognizing the need for a cadre of professional supply chain managers, focuses on the supply chain skills and knowledge needed by different types of workers at different levels of the health system.

  • Achievable activity: Determine what regular courses and training opportunities exist, or could be created, for supply chain managers as well as health workers who devote considerable time to supply chain tasks.

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