‘One UN’ for health supply chains in Madagascar

In Madagascar, UNICEF is leading a nationwide supply chain transformation that brings together health officials and the development community. In Madagascar, roughly one in three children is still unvaccinated, indicating that not everyone has access to vital treatments and health goods.

Product stock-outs, a lack of fit-for-purpose infrastructural distribution systems, and a shortage of skilled healthcare personnel, among other issues, have been a recurring impediment to providing the highest grade of routine treatments and reaching all underserved populations in the country. Climate shocks, food shortages, and other health catastrophes, such as the COVID-19 epidemic, have exacerbated the burden on healthcare services and harmed the country’s ability to respond to mounting demands.

An inclusive review process of Madagascar’s Health System

Acknowledging these problems, UNICEF used its mobilizing authority to create the ‘UN Delivering as One’ campaign from May 30 to June 2, 2022, which included a full performance evaluation. The project selected four areas of development for Madagascar’s health supply chain: vital pharmaceuticals; reproductive health; vaccinations; and food nutrition. 

The Health Ministry, the WHO (World Health Organization), and the UNPF (United Nations Population Fund), along with USAID, co-led the effort with the help of the UN Coordinator Office of Resident and other civil society and donor partners.

Shared Vision Towards Healthcare in Madagascar

The findings revealed that additional supply chain integration and prospects for efficiencies across health initiatives are possible. To duplicate and institutionalize successful supply chain management techniques, they stressed the necessity of simplifying resources, exchanging knowledge and experience, leveraging on successes, and harnessing partnerships. They also mentioned that additional investments and technological cooperation are needed to bring the least mature areas up to par.

Pooling assets and competencies

“These investments in system improvement are crucial for advancing our humanitarian-development continuum initiatives, as well as to better prepare for health catastrophes, absorb shocks, and foster a speedier return to normalcy. We can enhance our cooperation and produce better results by merging our assets and expertise,” said UN Resident Coordinator Issa Sanogo.

The donor community’s crucial role in providing transformative investments to promote the execution of nationally sponsored systems strengthening measures was also widely recognized. 

Mr. Hajarijaona Razafindrafito, USAID Health, Population, and Nutrition Acting Deputy Director, pledged, “Through our IMPACT (Improving Market Partnership and Access to Commodities) initiative, USAID conveys its commitment to delivering its funds and resources to promote the government’s priorities and proceed to evolve the lives of millions of Malagasy citizens,” before reaching the conclusion, “USAID invests more than $72 million annually on inclusive health activities.”