GIS - 16 July, 2019: The First Technical Meeting (FTM) on Pooled Procurement (PP) for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) aiming to establish the SIDS PP Programme opened this morning, at the Sofitel Mauritius L’ Imperial Resort & Spa in Flic-en-Flac. The Acting Director-General of the Health Services of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, Dr S. Ramen, and the Officer-in-Charge of the WHO Country Office in Mauritius, Mr A. Nundoochan, and other personalities were present on the occasion.
The meeting, which will be held from 16 to 18 July 2019, is an initiative of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). Some 40 foreign participants are attending the meeting.
In his keynote address, Dr S. Ramen stated that this meeting lies in the context of the sixth Meeting of Ministers of Health of the five SIDS in the WHO African region which was held in September 2017 in Seychelles whereby the difficulties encountered with the procurement of essential medicines, particularly for non-communicable diseases were highlighted.
The overall objective of the meeting, he said, is to drive further the establishment of the SIDS PP programme by promoting a common understanding of the requirements for pooled procurement and preparing as well as agreeing on the technical, financial and administrative requirements for such a programme.
With the increasing trends in both communicable and non-communicable diseases, he observed, it is essential that Mauritius establishes systems to ensure timely procurement of requisite medical supplies. Therefore, he added, pooling requirements with SIDS, present an opportunity for Mauritius to procure medicines at a more competitive price.
Speaking about the benefits of procurement, Dr Ramen stated that it has a price reducing effect and also strengthens negotiation position when operating as a single bloc. Furthermore, pooled procurement reduces the need for specialised skills required for national vaccine procurement and allows for greater stability in vaccine supply, he added.
For his part, Mr A.Nundoochan, stressed that the meeting provides an opportunity for key stakeholders from pharmaceutical services, pharmaceutical regulatory bodies and procurement agencies of the five SIDS and Madagascar to ponder on best practices from other regional pool procurement initiatives. He further stated that the meeting will seek to build consensus and progress towards the operationalisation of the pooled procurement programme.
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