Islamabad-Health departments at federal and provincial level are making efforts to digitalise public health supply chain system to improve access of essential health commodities, said a statement issued on Saturday.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health addressing a ceremony on Health Logistics Management Information System (HLMIS) said that automation/digitisation of public health supply chain system is critical for improved access of essential health commodities.

The HLMIS is developed by Chemonics International with technical and financial support of UNICEF and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation under Global Action for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD).

A statement released by the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) said that Dr Zafar Mirza appreciated the collective efforts of provincial governments, UNICEF, BMGF, WHO, USAID and NGOs for strengthening the public health supply chain systems for improved access of essential health commodities across the country as he officiated the endorsement ceremony of HLMIS.

The representatives of the governments of Punjab and Sindh reiterated that end to end visibility of MNCH essential medicines through HLMIS would empower the policy and programme tiers to take evidence-based decisions. They assured that the system will be implemented in true spirit while appreciating the support of UNICEF, BMGF and Chemonics International Inc.

Applauding the collaboration of the Sindh and Punjab governments, UNICEF representative Aida Girma said, “It is a great achievement that HLMIS has brought data visibility of very essential MNCH medicines at provincial and district stores and health facilities in Punjab and Sindh. UNICEF envisages that other provinces and regions shall follow the suit.”

Summarising the long journey in pursuit of digitising the health sector Dr. Muhammad Tariq, Country Director, Chemonics International said, “History was made when we brought visibility to family planning and vaccines, the trend continued with TB and MNCH programmes, and as we advanced in digitising the health sector, we find ourselves closer than ever in our goal of connecting policies with people in Pakistan.”

The ceremony was witnessed by the dignitaries from the Governments of Punjab and Sindh, UNICEF, BMGF, USAID and WHO, along with members from academia and private sector organisations involved in healthcare service delivery.

The ceremony concluded with presentation of shields and mementos to the contributing partners and the chief guest.