The Government of Ghana (GoG) through the Ministry of Health (MoH) and its agencies, primarily the Ghana Health Service (GHS), over the past decade have undertaken comprehensive and coordinated strategic reforms, critical in strengthening the public sector’s health supply chain to fully support objectives for a stronger national health system.
The development of a five-year Strategic Supply Chain Master Plan (SCMP) in 2012 and its subsequent revision in 2015 to better address prevailing implementation challenges formed the bedrock for the structural transformation of the public health supply chain.
One of the principles of this transformation agenda is leveraging the availability of modern innovative technology, including information management systems, to provide end to end visibility, facilitate the accessibility to quality supply chain data to drive strategic decision-making across the value chain.
It is anticipated that the fostering of such enabling supply chain environment will lead Ghana towards the attainment of health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including universal health coverage (UHC).
In addition to implementing supply chain reforms and digitization initiatives, the health sector has been increasingly tested by new challenges like pandemics.
This has led to the urgent need to establish a foundation to build a dynamic and resilient system as well as strengthen systems and structures that can aptly respond to these challenges.
One of these needs is to facilitate establishment of an environment that will support quality data production, management and use across the public health value chain.
It is believed that by establishing the mechanism that ensures quality data production, management and use, the Ministry will create a responsive, agile, and dynamic supply chain that is both sustainable, can address any disruption challenges and will create operational efficiencies while reducing overall supply chain costs.
With the financial support from the Global Fund and technical assistance from Systems for Development (S4D), the Ministry has initiated the Data Production Management and Use (DPMU) project, aimed at evaluating the end-to-end public health supply chain, identify the key data sources, ensure that people, processes and tools that facilitate the harnessing and management of data for each business process meet the minimum standards, and develop supporting mechanisms that will not only view data as a business asset, but effectively use it in all decision making and performance monitoring.
The overall goal of this project is to address MoH key data needs and structures, to be able to develop capabilities that will enable quality production, management, and effective use of data in enhancing Ghana public health supply chain.
It is anticipated that the project will have the following impacts:
- Data will guide implementation of strategic supply chain financial methods and decisions, creating opportunities to achieve supply chain cost effectiveness. Accurate and timely inventory data will inform budgeting, procurement, inventory management, and distribution processes while enabling effective target of supply chain investments, reduce waste, and ultimately better serve the patient needs.
- Data visibility combined with strong data management will help reduce operational costs and improve service levels by optimizing processes such as procurement planning, demand forecasting, and inventory management.
- Availability of quality data will build an agile supply chain, enabling better informed value-based decisions and proactive risk management efforts. Leveraging data visibility and analytics tools such as probabilistic and predictive modelling will facilitate establishment of mechanisms for supply chain risk management methods such as scenario building, what-If and risk/reward analysis
To assist MoH Research and Information Management Directorate champion this task and achieve the task objectives as well as realize project impact, S4D will leverage its technical capabilities and resources to develop the public health supply chain data architecture classified into three key areas: data management, data integration and data analytics.
S4D in collaboration with the key stakeholders from different directorates within the MoH, Agencies and their relevant divisions will analyze how data is managed, standardized, and governed.
S4D will examine any existence of data standards, policies, tools and guidance that govern the use of data in public health supply chain.
In data integration, S4D will examine and ensure that different sets of data from multiple business areas operate effectively and efficiently as well as how MoH data can be managed and used to scale.
The ultimate aspect will be developing platforms that will support analytics and visualization to guide critical decision support.
S4D will look at how can the Ministry use data effectively to facilitate getting insights from all the information put together.
It is anticipated that modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will be used in the near future to guide both visibility, analytics and decision making.