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LMCU Inaugurated In 25 LGAs In Delta

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba
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In a bid to move more closely to the grass root, in delivering healthcare, the Delta State government has inaugurated the Logistics Management Coordination Units (LMCU) across the 25 local government councils in the state.

Speaking during the inauguration in Asaba on Thursday, the National Coordinator, Nigeria Supply Chain Integration Project (NSCIP), in the National Product Supply Chain Management Programme, Department of Food and Drugs Services, Federal Ministry of Health who was ably represented by Barr Miriam Nnemelo, said the integration health programs was highly recommended as an essential intervention to strengthen the country’s overall public health supply chain.

She revealed that integration is an ‘optimization’ by using tested model approach and the Supply Chain Integration Project of the federal ministry of health, “do this by bringing concerned health programs in alignment with best existing in-country practices and models”.

According to her, “one key strategy among a host of others employed by the NSCIP, is to transfer responsibilities and accountability for supply chain performance to government at the three tiers”, pointing out that the creation and operationalization of LMCU in all six geopolitical zones, states and now the LGAs, NSCIP is to achieve integration and coordination.

She advocated for the need to create more access to primary health centres as states and partners do not have the direct abilities to supervise and resolve issues identified at the service delivery points.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Nicholas Azinge, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr (Mrs) Minnic Oseji, disclosed that the LMCU was already operational in five public healthcare programs in the state.

The Health Commissioner listed the programs to include: Malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB/Reproductive Health/VACCINE, said they have been brought under a single umbrella which is coordinated by the LMCU.

He said the collection of the five public healthcare data has not been effective as reports for the various programs do not easily come to the LMCU, “Hence the need for complete and accurate data from facilities across all programs in the state. The LLMCU will be charged with the responsibility of efficient and effective collection and collation of reports such as to the state LMCU”.

Azinge, reiterated that it would further help in better data visibility, reduction of wastage and expiries of commodities for proper product supply chain management.

He however, lamented that the national supply chain for pharmaceuticals as well as other health care products has been plagued over the years with numerous challenges resulting from “mainly inadequate funding, poor supply and demand management, as well as parallel systems by different programmes and implementers, resulting in gross wastages, stock puts, damages as well as expiries and thus rendering the health care system performing below standard”.

Also, the Director, Pharmaceutical Services in the ministry, Pharm (Mrs) Kate Ekonye, disclosed that the LMCU, under the department of pharmaceutical Services was established 2014 by the national council of health aimed at coordinating supply chain activities in all the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

According to her, “this is to ensure that the federal and state governments take leadership and ownership of supply chain system for health commodities, foster supply chain integration and enhance commodity availability by tackling the challenges that results in commodity stock out, wastages and expiries”.