Zambia’s Ministry of Health collaborates with IBM to provide citizens with improved access to 200 lifesaving drugs.

27 May 2014 From the Zambezian we learn that Zambia’s Ministry of Health is collaborating with IBM to provide citizens with improved access to 200 lifesaving drugs. The project is supported by the World Bank, the Department for International Development, UNICEF and London Business School. Under the terms of the collaboration, Zambia’s Medical Stores Limited will deploy a new medical supply chain pilot project using sophisticated analytics and mobile technologies to better manage the inventorying and delivery of medicine.

The technology will help to control the usage, supply, availability and access to essential medicine within the Zambian health sector and will provide a real-time view of drug usage and stock. All the data received will also be analyzed to identify trends and therefore prevent gaps in the medical supply chain.

John Makumba, operations officer of the Africa Health Unit at the World Bank is quoted as saying “Zambia is taking strong action to prevent avoidable deaths by testing and deploying new methods to get drugs to people on time,”

Staff at health facilities in the districts where the new system is being tried out will be able to use mobile devices with barcode scanners to record stock details and then send them to a central inventory control system. This will ensure continued access to vital medication and help health workers to better understand how, where and when vital medication is most used.

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