Sandra Araba Mensah
MBA Supply Chain and Operations Management
Sandra Araba Mensah
Research and Professional Experience
Throughout my twelve years of hospital pharmacy practice experience at Family Health, C n J Medicare and International Maritime hospitals in Ghana, I have observed some gaps in the supply chain delivery system of health logistics- pharmaceuticals and medical consumables. These gaps included shortages of essential logistics when needed, owing to delays occurring at various points in the supply chain and operations system, inadequate inventory management of hospital supplies, acute medicine needs and economic- related challenges. Many health systems of developing nations like Ghana, are also faced with these challenges as a result of inadequate budget allocation for procurement, inadequate qualified personnel both at managerial and ground level at the supply chain department, non-adherence to regulations such as the Public Procurement Act 663 of Ghana, lack of logistic management supervision and poorly integrated information systems of all supply chain elements.
In 2007, I spearheaded the setting up of the pharmacy unit of the Family Health Hospital and together with the store personnel also created the pharmacy store in order to streamline the supply of medicines to the dispensary and other units, thereby assuring effective and efficient monitoring and utilisation of medicines.

I introduced cost saving measures in procurement of medicines from primary suppliers and also ensured consistent reduction of waste and cost, through effective monitoring of pharmacy inventory while maintaining high quality and productivity standards.

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My professional experience also includes contributions made to the development of a hospital formulary; the creation of pharmaceutical protocol and standard operating procedures; and the designing of the pharmacy function of the hospital management information system (HMIS) software to make it user friendly to ensure operational efficiency.
Medicines and medical supplies constitute one of the pillars of all health systems worldwide, hence there is always the need to ensure their consistent availability in the right quantities and quality, at cost-effective prices and at the right time.
And more currently, effective and efficient logistics management of medicines and medical supplies has been distinctly noted as vital for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Sandra Araba Mensah
MBA Supply Chain and Operations Management
(SDGs). Goal number three seeks to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages. This goal emphasises a reduction in global maternal mortality ratio, neonatal and child mortality rates as well as to achieve access to safe, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all. Thus it is evident that the need for a robust supply chain and operations framework in any healthcare system cannot be overemphasized and shortcomings present in our current healthcare supply chain systems have a severe impact on human health and well- being.
In hospital practice, it is critically important to take into consideration the impact of the deficiencies of the supply chain and operations framework on both patient health and provision of medicines and other medical stock. The stock-out cost could be substantial because sometimes a stock-out of essential medicines and supplies could result in life threatening situations in health facilities due to delay in treatment. A classic case in point once occurred when some clients who were admitted for malaria and diabetes mellitus and were prescribed essential drugs namely Artesunate injection and soluble insulin respectively. Such delays, which are now virtually the norm in many health institutions, in the provision of prescribed medications have dire and may result in lethal consequences.
On the other hand, unavailability of items required for the seamless provision of certain medical services and the performance of diagnostic procedures pose a challenge to effective healthcare delivery. For instance, a client was attended to by a doctor and was asked to do an electrocardiogram (ECG) examination immediately to confirm diagnosis. However, the procedure could not be carried out because the facility had run out of ECG electrodes which are integral to the procedure. The experiences recounted above, have been found to occur at other health facilities as well as across the country.

Also, poor information within the supply chain delivery system was observed as a hindrance to the delivery of safe and quality health care. This has been found to negatively affect the activities of suppliers, logistics personnel as well as, different hospital departments such as outpatient department, emergency department, radiology unit among others with regards to optimum resource utilization and service delivery.
Overall, the aforementioned inadequacies have resulted in poor patient health outcomes, dissatisfied clients, interruptions in employee work flow as well as costly emergency purchases which had to be made in some cases, all leading to financial implication for the business.

Sandra Araba Mensah
MBA Supply Chain and Operations Management
Ghana in my opinion requires an in-depth assessment of key aspects of its healthcare supply chain and operations framework, particularly, the medicines supply management system of its health facilities, with the goal of identifying any area that is lacking and which undermines access to medicines and efficiency. Such an assessment would be most beneficial in aiding the development of feasible strategies to address pertinent challenges identified.
The prospects of the MBA Supply Chain and Operations Management programme appeal to me and I am confident that pursuing the course, would provide me the requisite tools, knowledge and skills. Pursuing the programme would enable acquire the competence to suitably contribute in bridging the gaps present in healthcare supply chain and operations systems in Ghana and in the global context to achieve a robust and efficient system.
I look forward to being accepted unto the MBA Supply Chain and Operations Management Programme; and I intend to succeed if accepted.

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