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IBM helps out Zambia’s health ministry

IBM helps out Zambia’s health ministry.

Technology giant IBM is helping the Zambian ministry of health provide citizens with improved access to 200 lifesaving drugs.

Zambia’s Medical Stores Limited (MSL) plans to deploy a medical supply chain pilot project, initially across 2,190 health centres, using IBM analytics and mobile technologies to better manage medicine inventory and delivery in light of the initiative.

In particular, the technology is aimed at managing a scalable supply chain and controlling the usage, supply, availability and access to essential medicine within the Zambian health sector.

IBM technology will also be used to provide a real-time view of drug usage and stock, while analysing data to identify trends and forecasts to prevent gaps in the medical supply chain.

“The public health sector in Zambia registers 100,000 deaths annually due to preventable and treatable diseases,” says IBM in a statement.

“The goal of the medicine supply chain management project is to save more lives by making medicine widely available when and where it’s needed,” adds the company.

The tech company goes on to say that its “analytics capabilities will be integrated with the IBM MobileFirst application development portfolio, enabling staff at health facilities in three Zambian districts to use mobile devices with barcode scanners to record and transmit stock and utilisation details to a central inventory control system.”

Furthermore, the initiative will also use IBM’s ILOG optimisation technology to calculate the ideal composition of drug shipments based on available inventory, resources and historical usage.

“The transparency of the system means that each district will have a real time view of drug stock levels at the clinics and the ability to coordinate the transfer of supplies from one facility to another if required,” says IBM.

Peter Ward, solution manager, IBM, says in a statement, “The Zambian pilot is designed to be sustainable and locally owned.”

The initiative is also supported by the World Bank, the Department for International Development, UNICEF and London Business School.

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