Islamabad : In pursuance of the National Action Plan for Family Planning, the federal and provincial governments are mandated to accelerate efforts for provision of uninterrupted family planning services and commodities to the eligible population across the country.
The PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan expressed these views while speaking at a national consultation meeting for contraceptives pool procurement here on Thursday.
Dr. Faisal expressed support to the provincial governments for adopting the pool procurement mechanism for contraceptive procurement and informed that an Integrated Supply Chain Management and Procurement Cell is being established within the Ministry with the technical support of USAID GHSC-PSM project. He further apprised that the Cell would usher an era of defragmentation of supply chain and procurement functions within the ICT as well as Federating Areas and will coordinate with provinces to gain resource efficiencies and quality assurance of health products being procured and managed by the Ministry. He said, it was exciting to have procurers and procurement regulators sitting on one table for a greater national cause. He eluded that population welfare is the top agenda for the government.
Dr. Zafar Mirza, Ex-SAPM on Health stressed that unchecked population growth is the mother of all problems. He emphasized that no amount of economic development can fulfil the gap of resources for alarmingly growing population.
To ensure sustainable contraceptive commodity security across the country, Dr. Muhammad Tariq, Country Director of the USAID-funded GHSC-PSM project, highlighted the need to achieve economies of scale and use public funds more efficiently as defragmented procurements and small volumes had less appeal for international bidders. Instead, by procuring a larger volume of contraceptives, and placing more response and competitive bids, the country could have a greater availability of internationally produced products.
Dr. Enilda Martin, Director Health Office USAID, appreciated the political commitment shown by the government towards family planning. USAID is committed to extend all possible support to improve information systems, commodity security and technology management for the health sector. Dr. Shabnum Sarfraz, Member Social Sector, M/o PD&SI, assured to extend full support to all provincial and regional governments for population welfare initiatives.
Director General PPW, Ministry of Health, Dr. Shahid Hanif, apprised the participants that during the second Federal Task Force meeting, President Dr. Arif Alvi had emphasised the need for uninterrupted provision of modern family planning methods and the idea for a national pool procurement of contraceptives was agreed upon.