Gates Foundation funding for CIPS African initiative

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The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply has been awarded a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve the procurement of healthcare and medicines across Africa.

CIPS said healthcare supply chains in Africa are prone to disruption and to increased costs with drugs and medical equipment struggling to reach those that need them the most. It quotes an estimate from the African Union that 25 per cent of the gross domestic product of African states, around US$148 billion, is lost to fraud and corruption practices.

“Research has found that bribery, corruption, government regulation and investments often act as a hindrance to good healthcare procurement leading for example, to higher infant mortality rates.”

The programme will run over three years and CIPS will work with a number of on-the-ground agencies to look at ways it can strengthen procurement processes and knowledge to deliver improved procurement spending.

CIPS will collaborate with various agencies, including ASCM (Association of Supply Management, formerly APICS) to cover all aspects from procurement through to supply chain management and logistics.

Chief executive Malcolm Harrison said: “With major advances in drugs and medical devices every day, it is a tragic fact that even if the funds for, and the stocks of, vital goods are available, somewhere along the supply chain vital supplies are not getting through to those people who are the most vulnerable. This has shocking consequences with the failure to stop preventable diseases, and the loss of life which impacts on families, the capacity of the region’s workforces and ultimately the effectiveness of economies.”

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