Helping Pakistan strengthen its TB program through the procurement and delivery of medical imaging equipment

by | Mar 22, 2024

The Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM) has supported Pakistan with commodity and project-based procurement for several years. However, 2023 was a milestone year, with more than 80 medical imaging machines commissioned by two recipients in the country. The recent orders by Pakistan included more than 80 mobile and portable x-ray systems. Each of these X-ray systems was combined and procured with computer-aided diagnostics (CAD) software, and the order included after-sales services such as warranty extension packages, solar panels, computers, printers, and ink required for full project implementation.

Last year, PFSCM, 3PL partner Maersk, delivered 54 of the above-mentioned machines to government warehouses in Islamabad. The remaining 28 machines will be delivered in 2024. The recipients will work with local logistics agents to distribute the equipment further downstream to multiple health facilities.


Logistics for capital equipment projects

PFSCM Logistics Lead Tassos Betzelos says extensive procurement and logistics planning was required to effectively manage the supply chain risks associated with transporting and importing capital equipment like portable and fixed X-ray machines.

He explains that PFSCM advised recipients on key considerations for procuring and receiving X-ray equipment and coordinated extensively with the donor, supplier, in-country logistics agent, and recipients to proactively manage some complexities like tax waiver applications and importation approval by the National Drug Authority.

In addition, Maersk COE Manager for Aid and Relief Zaheer Daniels says despite some typical supply chain intricacies, the deliveries so far, have gone well with minimal disruptions.

He adds that this can be attributed to strong partnerships, and the seamless flow of information among with PFSCM, the consignee and respective parties.

Further, Daniels provides a glimpse into the journey inland journey of the equipment.

“The cargo was transported by road with a security convoy across 1,400 km from the Port Qasim to Islamabad. The route passed through the Sukkur district where heavy road construction is underway, and also through some cities where heavy vehicles may only pass during certain hours of the day. Once at the warehouse, offloading also proceeded promptly owing to the extensive transport planning early in the supply chain process.”

Zaheer concludes that Maersk is pleased to be a part of deliveries and projects that make a difference to communities.

Betzelos also stresses the importance of “strong partnerships” throughout the supply chain.

“We are grateful for the open and proactive communication between the various stakeholders involved; by coming together as a supply chain community, we were able to resolve challenges, like tax waiver complications, to ensure that lifesaving lung diagnostic equipment could be affordably sent to Pakistan.”

Betzelos concludes that PFSCM will also continue to support the recipients even after the equipment has become fully operational.

“Procuring and delivering medical imaging equipment is just one component of our service offering as a procurement agent. We also provide our clients value-added services such as the long-term logistics planning for consumables needed to run the equipment, warranties, and maintenance agreements to ensure maximum machine uptime and rapid intervention during a breakdown to ensure uninterrupted health service delivery.”