Former president Bill Clinton praises JSI's efforts to strengthen logistics systems


Paul Kamuna, the project's Data Specialist, explains the Zambia ARV Drug Supply Chain Chart to Clinton.

On July 21, 2007, former President Bill Clinton toured the central health commodity warehouse in Lusaka, Zambia. Clinton and a team of logistics experts and government officials discussed the logistics management information system (LMIS) and the coordination needed to procure health commodities. In his public remarks, the former president indicated that he was impressed by the national logistics system being used in Zambia. He praised JSI's efforts to streamline how the supply chain helps integrate donor contributions for HIV and AIDS commodities in that country.

JSI staff members Paul Kamuna, Dorah Chisambi, and Gamariel Simpungwe of the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, along with Dr. Simon Miti, Permanent Secretary of the MOH and Dr. Peter Simpungwe, Director of Diagnostic and Clinical Care Services, guided Clinton's tour. Other dignitaries present included the Minister of Health, Brian Chituwo, and Tom Brown, the Medical Supplies Limited (MSL) head of logistics.

The team explained the importance of sound logistics practices, particularly the use of information, in developing and implementing a sustainable logistics system. The staff focused on the work being done at the MOH Logistics Management Unit (LMU). Paul Kamuna, the project's data specialist, explained the types of information the LMU captures from the facilities and the importance of that information in understanding the national picture of what drugs are being used and in what quantities. This knowledge facilitates the coordination of procurement and distribution of the drugs.


Gamariel Simpungwe, Public Health Logistics Advisor for the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, the Honorable Brian Chituwo, Minister of Health, Dr Simon Miti, Permanent Secretary, and Former U.S. President Bill Clinton look on as Paul Kamuna gives a presentation at the Medical Stores Limited in Zambia
 
The team also compared the previous antiretroviral (ARV) logistics system to the current system, which was redesigned by the MOH with technical assistance from JSI and cooperating partners. Paul Kamuna explained that the JSI team has trained ART site staff everywhere in Zambia to record and report essential logistics data.

During President Clinton's tour, Mr. Kamuna also profiled Zambia's new standardized information sharing system and how vital the system is to the success of the program in providing and expanding HIV and AIDS services, as well as during forecasting and quantification of drugs at the program and national levels.

President Clinton also saw a Zambia ARV supply chain flow chart, created by JSI staff working on the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, that describes how PipeLine software is used to coordinate donor funding in Zambia. He was particularly impressed with the LMU's function in this regard, as well as how integrated donor contributions to the supply chain for HIV and AIDS commodities in Zambia were streamlined to avoid duplication and ensure good programming of these funds. Clinton requested that an electronic copy of the flow chart be sent to his office.

The former president said he was impressed with the operation of the Zambia logistics system, the system's effectiveness—how it can trace every product to the end user—and how he would like to see the system used in other countries.

Dr. Simpungwe praised JSI for its support and leading role in ensuring the success of the LMU. He told Clinton that the project is the backbone for providing technical support on logistics management to the MOH and that it deserved a "pat on the back." He commented that JSI "does what they say they will do!"

After the tour, President Clinton pledged that the Clinton Foundation would continue to pursue new health solutions—specifically for HIV and AIDS in developing countries. He spoke about his vision to make HIV and AIDS medicines available and affordable and to ensure that the life-giving drugs would be available to anyone, anywhere in the world.