The procurement of good-quality medicines and other health supplies is key to the success of responses to humanitarian crises and should be given priority when drafting a logistics plan, Pierre Boulet-Desbareau of Medecins Sans Frontieressays.
Boulet-Desbareau, who heads the logistics department of MSF’s operation center in Brussels, says humanitarian logistics systems employed in recent and ongoing crisis responses have largely failed to emphasize the need to ensure the quality and safety of medicines and health supplies because of certain constraints, including cost and drug restrictions in some countries.
It is important for humanitarian logistics providers to find solutions to these constraints, he says, noting that the “main challenge of humanitarian logistics today resides in its future ability to overcome these constraints in order to guarantee high-quality humanitarian and medical interventions.”
“From now on, humanitarian logistics services will have no choice but to professionalise themselves and to integrate medical competences within their teams,” Boulet-Desbareau adds.
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