Hon. Ummy Mwalim (3rd L), Minister - Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children with UNDP, MSD and Swedish embassy officials

The 3rd MSD – Manufacturers / Suppliers Annual General Meeting and 2nd Saving Lives Sustainably: Global Forum 2019 in Africa was held on 18-19 July in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The Forum was organised by UNDP and Medical Stores Department (MSD) Tanzania.    

More than 350 delegates from 40 countries attended the Forum to explore the front-running sustainable and ethical consumption and production patterns and the latest public and private innovations on the sustainable manufacturing of health commodities. 

The two-day Forum hosted some of the world’s most eminent thinkers, practitioners, technical experts, suppliers and manufacturers who opened discussion on sustainable production, procurement, and supply in global health sector. Among the speakers were:

  • Hon. Ummy Mwalimu (MP), Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, United Republic of Tanzania
  • Hon. January Y. Makamba, Minister of State, Vice President's Office (Environment and Union Matters), United Republic of Tanzania
  • Laurean Bwanakunu, Director-General, Medical Stores Department (MSD) Tanzania
  • Ludvig Bontell, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Sweden in Tanzania
  • Dr. Jean-Paul Digy Corporate Vice President Africa Region, Novo Nordisk
  • Dr. Nguyen Thanh Ha, Deputy Director General, Viet Nam Health Environment Agency
  • Dr. Rosemary Kumwenda, UNDP EECA Team Leader for HIV, Health and Development and SPHS Coordinator
  • Susan Wilburn, Sustainability Director, Health Care Without Harm
  • Dancilla Mukarubayiza, Deputy Resident Representative a.i., UNDP Tanzania
  • Mesiya Mwangoka, Board Director, UN Global Compact Local Network Tanzania
  • Lin Roger Li, Senior Manager, Strategic Sourcing, Sourcing and Supply Chain Department, The Global Fund

The Forum provided an invaluable opportunity for building capacity and spurring action on sustainable production in the health sector, bringing together stakeholders from around the world to exchange knowledge, share experiences, identify good practices and agree upon the way forward.

UNDP Resident Representative a.i. Dancilla Mukarubayiza remarked that the event was important for better understanding the many ways to be more cost effective while reducing social and environmental impacts through sustainable procurement. This was demonstrated by Hon. Ummy Mwalimu (MP), who gave the example that in 2016, the Government of Tanzania through the MSD started to procure health commodities directly from manufacturers. The strategy led to tremendous impact with an average reduction in price of 40 percent, minimization of counterfeiting risk due to quality assurance of quality medicine and medical supplies, reduction of procurement lead time from nine to six months and a reduction of storage costs as local manufacturers can arrange a minimum quantity to meet re-order level.

The Forum was organized as a climate-smart event. Delegates went paper-free as the agenda and all other relevant materials were made available through the event app. No bottled water was used. Most participants, organisers, speakers and moderators stayed at hotels which prioritize the environment. The Forum successfully achieved zero waste. 

With the support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) and UN Interagency Task Team on Sustainable Procurement in the Health Sector (SPHS), the Forum enabled delegates to generate a list of good practice examples and specific suggestions on introducing sustainable and ethical production, procurement and disposal practices in the health sector. These practices and suggestions will be compiled into a report that will be made available to the public.

More information about the programme and speakers are available here

For more information on sustainable procurement in the health sector, please visit the UN Interagency on Sustainable Procurement in the Health Sector online engagement platform and explore the Sustainable Health in Procurement Project (SHiPP).

 

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