In a pivotal moment for healthcare in Zambia, the USAID Electronic Supply Chain Management Information System (eSCMIS) project met with Zambia’s Minister of Health, Hon. Sylvia T. Masebo, to engage in a meaningful dialogue about the challenges and opportunities presented by the Electronic Logistics Management Information System (eLMIS) – a digital medical supply chain management tool – and to advocate to the Minister how eLMIS can transform the healthcare system. This encounter marked a significant step toward enhanced healthcare logistics and supply chain management in Zambia.
Mr. John C. Sikasote, USAID eSCMIS project Chief of Party, noted, “Together, we are laying the foundation for a more efficient and impactful healthcare system.” He continued, “eLMIS not only enhances transparency and accountability but also empowers healthcare providers with the tools they need to deliver quality care. It’s a powerful step forward for Zambia’s healthcare journey.”
The meeting between the USAID eSCMIS project team and Zambia’s Minister of Health, Hon. Masebo, was a testament to the commitment of both parties to improve healthcare outcomes in the country. Chief of Party, Mr. John C. Sikasote shared a presentation on the USAID eSCMIS project and discussed key topics with the Minister – including challenges addressed by eLMIS and the need for capacity building for MOH staff. The USAID eSCMIS project team also provided an in-depth introduction to the eLMIS system, explaining its features and functionalities, highlighting its benefits for Zambia’s healthcare system including reduced wastage, improved data accuracy, enhanced decision-making, and ultimately, better healthcare delivery for citizens.
The session progressed into a candid exchange regarding the challenges confronting Zambia’s healthcare supply chain including pilferage and capacity gaps. The project team and the Minister engaged in an open dialogue, exploring the precise obstacles and intricacies of the current supply chain system. The focal point of discussion revolved around exploring how eLMIS could effectively address these challenges, with a strong emphasis on its potential to significantly reduce stockouts.
To ensure that Hon. Masebo could seamlessly navigate the system, two MOH eLMIS champions – Corrine Zulu, Sub District Pharmacist for Chipata and Kendo Simaimbula, District Pharmacist for Kalingalinga Hub – conducted a practical, hands-on demonstration of eLMIS. Corrine and Kendo had received comprehensive training from the USAID eSCMIS project team, ensuring a thorough and expert-guided introduction to the system. This user orientation allowed the Minister to gain practical knowledge on how to navigate the system effectively.
The Minister of Health, Hon. Masebo, expressed her enthusiasm for the work that the USAID eSCMIS project is doing and the potential of the eLMIS system to transform healthcare supply chain management in Zambia. Having been oriented and registered on the system, the Minister and senior staff will be logging in to the system and using it to monitor the health supply chain and interact with facilities. She recognized the critical role eLMIS plays in achieving the government’s healthcare objectives and committed her full support to its continued and further implementation. With support and commitment from the Minister, the project will continue to deploy eLMIS to healthcare facilities across the country.
Hon. Sylvia Masebo, emphasized, “eLMIS is pivotal for our health supply chain as it grants us real-time visibility, reduces pilferage, and enhances our ability to provide quality healthcare. It’s imperative that our health staff fully embrace this system and that we prioritize the training of more health professionals in eLMIS use to ensure its success and the well-being of our citizens.”
Through our collaboration, Zambia is poised to enhance the availability of essential medicines and medical supplies, ultimately improving the healthcare outcomes and well-being of its citizens.