Healthcare Supply Chains

Session Chair: Prof. Gilbert Nyaga, Northeastern University, U.S.

Paper 1: Multi-Stakeholder Response to COVID-19 Emergency in Sub-Saharan Africa: An ISM Analysis of Critical Barriers  

By Temidayo Akenroye, PhD
Senior Lecturer, Supply Chain Management
Liverpool Business School
Liverpool John Moores University, UK


Pandemics and other public health emergencies demand a multistakeholder preparedness and response strategy; for policymakers and experts, such an approach is often difficult to effectively manage and govern. Recent works have identified the common barriers to effective multi stakeholder collaboration for pandemic preparedness and response. However, the interrelationships between those barriers have not been given adequate attention. This study starts by identifying critical barriers to effective multi stakeholder collaboration in healthcare emergencies, through a literature review. Focus groups are used to collect data from experts who have participated in a multistakeholder collaboration for COVID-19 response in Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon, and Zambia. An ISM model was developed from the findings to unveil and resolve the complex interrelatedness between different barriers in the COVID-19 pandemic context. By understanding the interactions among different barriers, managers and policymakers can design targeted interventions to effectively prepare and respond to future health emergencies.

Paper 2: Closing the treatment gap: Antiepileptic Drug Availability, Affordability and Quality in Urban and Rural Ghana

By Priscilla K. Mante, Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacology, KNUST, Ghana


Epilepsy is a neurological condition of note in low- and middle-income countries which is severely affected by a 70% treatment gap. Accessibility and quality of treatment, therefore, remain important issues. The principal objective of this study was to measure the availability, affordability and quality of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in rural and urban areas in Ghana. A cross-sectional study was carried out in Accra, Kumasi, Tamale, Anum-Boso, Juabo, and Bole, investigating both official and unofficial supply chains. Data on availability and retail prices of innovator and generic brands of AEDs in 180 randomly selected pharmacies were collected. Median price ratios were computed and affordability gauged with reference to the national daily minimum wage. Samples of oral AEDs were collected in areas where they could be obtained by patients. Quality of medicines was assessed with Pharmacological analytical procedures and Medicine Quality Assessment Reporting Guidelines. Most facilities stocked at least one essential AED. Median price ratios varied between 1.2 and 1.6 reflecting the difference between generics and innovator brands. In total, 150 batches, representing 4687 units of AEDs, were sampled. 37.91% of the tablets were of poor quality, with no significant differences observed across sampling areas. The prevalence of substandard quality medications was significantly higher in manufacturers located in China and India. Improper storage influenced the quality of AEDs significantly. In conclusion, availability of AEDs was found to be higher in urban areas than in rural areas. Affordability of most AEDs was generally poor. No drug counterfeiting was observed. However, inadequate AED storage conditions resulted in ineffective and potentially harmful AEDs on the market.

Paper 3: mHealth Impact on Demand-Capacity Mismatch in Accessing Health Services in Africa

By Prof. Gilbert Nyaga, Associate Professor, Northeastern University, USA


Accessing health care services is a major challenge in many African countries. Past studies have highlighted many of the challenges including inadequate capacity, poor logistics infrastructure, limited funding, low access to technology, limited supply chain competencies, excess demand, etc. This study examines how the increased use of mobile technology has impacted the problem of demand-capacity mismatch and access to health care services in general in select African countries. Based on analysis of secondary data and review of extant literature, we offer suggestions for policy, theory, and the management of health care services.