Building Resilience in the Health Supply Chain to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic

Since Zambia recorded its first confirmed COVID-19 case in March 2020, the transport and logistics industry has been under increasing pressure to maintain supply chains of essential goods and medicines across the country. Regional travel restrictions and border testing regimes, introduced to slow the spread of the virus, have disrupted the movement of health commodity cargo, leaving land-locked countries such as Zambia particularly vulnerable to commodity shortages and stock outs. There is growing concern that further disruption to vital supply chains would seriously undermine Zambia’s ability to maintain the distribution of essential medicines across the county whilst in parallel mounting a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to protect key workers, Transaid in partnership with the Industrial Training Centre (ITC), and supported by the Zambia Ministry of Health and UK industry, developed a communicable diseases training manual with a focus on COVID-19 awareness and preparedness. Transaid then conducted a Training of Trainers (ToT) programmes to equip ITC trainers with the skills required to deliver the COVID-19 training, and between September 2020 and February 2022, ITC trainers delivered the training to professional drivers and warehouse colleagues working in Zambia’s central and regional medical stores.

A total 101 health supply chain colleagues received the training and 120 packages of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) were handed out. In addition, 2,158 printed factsheets were distributed and a further ~4,000 professional drivers received digital copies via the WhatsApp messaging platform.

Please click below to download the full technical brief.