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Empowering Healthcare Procurement in Africa: A Journey of Knowledge


We are making significant strides in improving public health procurement across Africa through our workforce development program. By providing training to procurement professionals in Kenya and Nigeria, we aim to enhance their understanding of procurement practices and principles. We had the privilege of sitting down with Dr. Ngeleso, County Chief Pharmacist from Laikipia County, Kenya, to discuss the transformative impact of the program on his procurement role. In this blog post, we delve into Dr. Ngeleso's experience, highlighting the skills gained, challenges overcome, and the way forward for effective healthcare procurement.

Dr. Ngeleso reflects on his involvement in drug procurement, recognizing the gaps in his understanding of procurement principles and regulations. Through the workforce development program, he gained valuable insights into procurement scopes, effective supply chain management, and leveraging information for informed decision-making in drug procurement. This newfound knowledge has greatly enhanced his ability to manage procurement processes efficiently.

''I've been involved in procurement of drugs to as a requester. But, I didn't know nor had much knowledge about procurement principles and regulations- Dr. Ngeleso says. The training has helped me to understand better scopes in terms of procurement, and how to manage the entire supply chain, how to manage information and also how to use information to make a decision when procuring drugs.''


The CIPS qualification training provided Dr. Ngeleso with a comprehensive understanding of the procurement cycle. He now possess the skills to articulate his needs explicitly, express specifications clearly, identify the right suppliers through pre-qualification processes, evaluate procurement procedures, and navigate tendering systems. Additionally, the training emphasized the significance of effective receiving, storage, and information management, along with the continuous improvement of procurement processes.

While not directly part of the procurement team, Dr. Ngeleso's collaboration with the department's procurement professionals has improved significantly since undergoing the training. Understanding his own limits and those of their colleagues has fostered a harmonious working relationship. This multidisciplinary teamwork, combined with better communication and issue budgeting with the finance team, has resulted in smoother procurement processes.

''I've been able to work closely with the procurement team in a more harmonious way. I know my limits and who takes over after every stage. Communication in our multidisciplinary teams working on a project now works well. we are able to get budgets from the finance team and procurement is done effectively.'' - Dr. Ngeleso


One of the key benefits of the workforce development program for Dr. Ngeleso has been the ability to clearly define his needs and specifications. This clarity has eliminated the need for constant follow-up with the procurement team, leading to improved efficiency and timeliness. As a result, he has successfully procured smaller, regular quantities, avoiding storage issues and optimizing resource utilization within budgetary constraints. Timely payments to suppliers have also ensured consistent availability of drugs and medical supplies.

''The training has helped because we are able to get things right from beginning saving on time and resources. The substantial knowledge in procurement processes, has made me improve my effectiveness. When it comes to making orders, we are able to understand the needs unlike before, when we used to procure large quantities for storage because of fear of budget issues. We ended up suffering due to poor storage conditions, excess of the same items and the risk of expiry.  Now we are able to rationalize our orders and make small orders that even if they last for a month we will make another order - Dr. Ngeleso''

He highlights the positive impact of improved procurement practices on healthcare services. Through the implementation of small, regular procurement cycles, the Nanyuki Teaching and Refferal hospital now consistently has 80% of the required drugs available. This achievement, coupled with prompt payments, has positively influenced patient care, as healthcare providers can confidently meet the needs of their clients. The ability to align procurement requests with the national level procurement control has further streamlined the procurement process.

''Through this training, and working with our teams, we have put arrangements in place to ensure that Nanyuki teaching referral hospital has atleast 80% of the drugs the facility needs available. We do this by, procuring small but more regular quantities and being able to pay the supplier on time so that they are able to supply the next round - Dr. Ngeleso.


Reflecting on the program's impact, Dr. Ngeleso acknowledges that there is still much to learn and improve upon. He expresses the need for additional resources and guidance, particularly tailored materials and case studies relevant to the Kenyan medical field. Practical mentorship programs and benchmarking opportunities in other countries are also suggested to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Dr. Ngeleso believes that by embracing further development and collaboration, healthcare procurement can be elevated to new levels of excellence.


Our workforce development program is playing a vital role in enhancing procurement practices in African healthcare. Through the insightful interview with Dr. Ngeleso, we witness the positive transformation in his procurement role. The acquisition of knowledge and skills has empowered him to manage procurement processes effectively, optimize resource utilization, and improve patient care. However, the journey doesn't end here. Continued support, practical guidance, and tailored resources are essential to further refine procurement skills and ensure seamless collaboration across the healthcare sector. By investing in the growth of procurement professionals, Africa can pave the way for a brighter future, where healthcare procurement is optimized and healthcare services are delivered efficiently and effectively to all.


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