Health supply chains need an increased focus on human resources to meet global health emergencies

28. October 2014

Copenhagen, 29th October 2014 – Workforce excellence in building sustainable health systems is the focus of the People that Deliver (PtD) Global Conference taking place in Copenhagen this week.  The conference, co-hosted by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), brings together over 270 supply chain professionals and health experts representing international development partners, governments and donors from 30 countries.

“Fragile health systems mean that over one-third of the world has no access to essential medicines,” said Mr Benoît Silve, Chairperson of the PtD Initiative. “The Ebola crisis illustrates why well-functioning health supply chains, staffed by enough people qualified to run them, are absolutely critical.”

“Strong government supply chains deliver better results for children,” said Shanelle Hall, Director of Supply Division, UNICEF.  “Supply chains need to be agile and adaptive. This is most prominently seen in Ebola-affected countries where whole new supply chains are needed, including for samples going to labs for testing, for personal protection equipment (PPE) sets needed at treatment and care facilities and by burial teams, and for the movement of bodies to safe burial sites. These are life-saving.”  

The PtD conference will help countries to plan, finance, develop, support and retain the national workforces needed for the effective, efficient and sustainable management of health supply chains. 

Delegates from Burkina Faso, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Mozambique and Namibia will share insights into the challenges and achievements in efforts to strengthen their respective supply chain workforce. 

Country experiences underscore the criticality for governments to introduce policies that support the professionalization of human resources in health supply chains.  Sustainable workforce excellence is achieved when national institutions are able to develop, recruit, and retain supply chain personnel who ably respond to the supply needs at all levels of the health system.

The information shared in this conference and the networks made will form the basis of the second phase of the PtD Initiative where we will be seeking to improve weak health supply chains to improve health outcomes.


About People that Deliver (PtD)

PtD is a global partnership whose mission is to build global and national capacity to implement evidence-based approaches to plan, finance, develop, support and retain the national workforces needed for the effective, efficient and sustainable management of health supply chains. PtD comprises over 80 member organizations representing governments, academia, professional institutions, international donors, multilateral agencies, NGOs, and private companies.   For more information on PtD or to become a member, visit


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: 

For more information, please contact:

Andrew Brown, Executive Manager, People that Deliver:

Joan Howe, Communication Specialist, UNICEF, Supply Division, Tel: +45 29657194