PFSCM: COVID-19 Update

April 23, 2020

As the public health emergency develops, supply shortages or disruptions are expected to occur due to rapid changes in demand for specific health commodities, temporary lockdowns of manufacturing sites in areas affected by COVID-19 or airline restrictions impacting shipments in transit.

The COVID-19 outbreak is a global public health crisis, and global effort is needed to prevent, detect and respond to the pandemic. Governments, organizations from across industries and sectors and individuals come together to help respond to this global outbreak, demonstrating high level of commitment and solidarity.

COVID-19 has had a huge impact globally and, as we continue to find ways to mitigate the virus, we need to remember that other deadly diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria continue to hit hard in vulnerable communities. We should learn from the Ebola outbreak, where more people died in low to middle-income countries from malaria and tuberculosis, than those that died from Ebola.

Patients who have already contracted HIV, TB or malaria are at greater risk in getting Covid-19 as their immune systems are already compromised.

At the same time, the security of essential health commodities for HIV, TB and malaria is at risk. Good examples are Lopinavir/Ritonavir, a licensed treatment for HIV being included in COVID-19 treatment guidelines in some countries, or tuberculosis drugs, as several tuberculosis drug suppliers are now switching to COVID-19 related commodities. While the lives of many patients depend on the availability of these drugs, the supply cannot meet the demand.

Today’s uncertainty calls for agile and adaptable supply chains.

At PFSCM, we are dedicated to contribute to the essential medicines security, ensuring the communities we serve are not lacking the needed treatments. We work closely with the donors and the recipients to understand the changing demand and we keep open channels with the vendors to ensure timely and effective communication on any change in supply. We support for cross-organization collaboration on transport to predict and address transportation challenges as they occur. We activate transport mode changes and charter flights to move shipments as necessary, and continue to explore options.

Every day, we recognize that many lives depend on our ability to adapt our response to market challenges.

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