LUSAKA, Zambia — At a colorful handover ceremony on Nov. 7 attended by United States and Zambian leaders, Zambian Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya received, on behalf of the Zambian government, 12 trucks donated by USAID and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) project.
The investment increased MSL’s distribution capacity by 156 tons, a 31 percent increase, and helped fill a significant gap in the amount of truck space needed to deliver lifesaving health commodities.
USAID/Zambia Mission Director Patrick Diskin explained that, “As we reach more and more people with AIDS treatment, there is a need for more transport capacity and adequate storage space at every level. Our donation of trucks to MSL reflects our continued partnership with the Zambian government in the battle to fight HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.”
Representing GHSC-PSM, Country Director Jennifer Chavez said the trucks will help MSL achieve its vision of distributing lifesaving health commodities to the last mile of all service delivery points, even in remote or hard-to-reach areas.
“A supply chain is made up of many functioning parts and with these trucks, all of Zambia will benefit from having commodities closer to where they are needed and when they are needed,” she said.
MSL Managing Director Mr. Chikuta Mbewe thanked USAID and its partners that continue to support and re-energize their desire to improve the health sector medicines supply system.
Chilufya also commended USAID, PEPFAR, and GHSC-PSM for partnering with the Zambian government to strengthen the health system.
“(The Zambian) government will invest in strong health systems, including strong supply chain systems to assure access to safe medicines for all Zambians,” Chilufya said.