Monday, September 30, 2013

3 Extraordinary Steps Any Medical Laboratory Scientist Can Take To Profit From The Emergin Logistics And Chain Supply Market

Theophillus Faruna is the senior advisor on logistics and supply management at John Snow Inc., and a passionate Medical Laboratory Scientist.  The imperative position of this emerging field in medical laboratory services in Nigeria got our crew to get him to reveal the secret in an online interview on how interested and especially young MLS can key-in to the lucrative field more so with the commissioning of the In-Vitro Diagnostic Control Public Health Laboratory By Mr. President-Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in Yaba, Lagos.  Enjoy

As a highly reputable resource person who have a passion for the profession, what are the Top Ten Steps Any Medical Laboratory Scientist can take to explore the door of opportunities in logistics and supply?

Thank you for your kind words. I do not think there are up to 10 steps one has to take in order to be an expert in logistics and supply chain management system. That said, the first step I think any medical lab scientist that want to do logistics is:
 INTEREST. As you are aware of this, logisitis were not taught to us in the university during the time of Associate, Fellow or the current BMLS. Unlike in the pharmacy that logistics is inculcated into their curriculum (and no wonder, each time you enter a pharmacy shop to buy even panadol, before you leave the shop, you see them opening a big note book to record the sales including the quantity dispensed). For us in the lab, the management is always interested in how much you generate from the money given to buy reagents at the begining of the month. Since the lab can generate N200,000 even from a mere N50,000; no one cares to take the stock status into serious consideration.
However, when I joined the development world job and had to work with stock count and no longer the money, my interest was kindled. I took all the tools used by the pharmacy in my place of work and adapted them to lab situation (these are the tools that have turned into national stock reporting tools today, though with modifications and reviews from time to time)

The second step is that of learning! if you must lead a way you must learn, hence the maxim; a leader is a learner. The day you stop learning, that day you stop leading. To get myself ahead of the game, I branched off from the core medical laboratory, even though I had done MMLS degree from Ambrose Alli University and enrolled for another Master degree with the prestigious University of Liverpool, Uk via their online platform and graduated in flying colours with MSc in Operations and Supply Chain Management in which the desertation paper was accepted for journal publication ( in conjuction with my supervisor.
To stay relevant, I had enrolled for a PhD in Public Health Policy so that I can harness all of this into laboratory services in a strengthened manner. This is currently ongoing.

Step three is to be open to corrections and willing to learn new thing. I think with these steps, one can excel in logistics and supply chain and even in any other field.

What have you done to encourage young and upcoming Medical Laboratory Scientists in this line?

What have I done as an encouragement to other Med Lab 


In my small corner, I have spearheaded the campaign in NGO 

world that logistics cannot be completed with only pharmacy, the 

medical laboratory is very vital and honestly I have seen medical 

laboratory being given a prominent place recently. National 

quantification of the HIV rapid tesk kits to be used in the entire 

country have been done, supported by the USAID project.  This 

has given rise to the planned procurement of the three kits on the 

national algorithm. CD4 reagents have also followed suit.  At every

 given opportunity, I have insisted that Med Lab Scientists are 

invited for training on logistics management; the number of times, 

I have lost count.

You may be aware that I am the lead author, with my colleagues 

at SCMS, that recently developed an online CPD module 

(Introduction to Medical Laboratory Supply Chain Management)

for AMLSN which was launched during the Katsina conference.

The current agenda being pursued by my organization through the

 funding of USAID and partnership with the FMOH is what we 

tagged "Laboratory Equipment and Services Harmonization". This 

is to enable us optimize the resources in the laboratory service so 

that supply chain management of commodities can be 

streamlined. More are also on way, as long as we continue to have funding.

Hope this open up the window for you to see logistics and supply 

chain management in my own world.

Thanks for sparing time out of your very tight schedule to honour this interview.

Many thanks indeed! Have a nice day.

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