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News & Updates

DDA organizes the Global Standard (GS1) Traceability and Digital Health Supply Chain Transformation Workshop.

Published: May 21, 2024


DDA organizes the Global Standard (GS1) Traceability and Digital Health Supply Chain Transformation Workshop.

Kathmandu, 18th May, 2024.

The Department of Drug Administration (DDA), in collaboration with USAID Nepal, supported EpiC Nepal and the PQM+ project, organized the Global Standard (GS1) Traceability and Digital Health Supply Chain Transformation Workshop. The workshop, first of its kind in the country, from May 17th to May 18th, 2024, aimed to raise awareness about global standards (GS1) and the concept of traceability, the architecture (tools and infrastructure) required to support it, and the common vision and approach required to adopt the standards.

The Chief Guest for the workshop, Honorable Hasina Khan, Minister of State, Ministry of Health Population, inaugurated the workshop. She highlighted the importance of the workshop and was hopeful that it could contribute to ensuring the availability of quality medicines. The special guest, Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Population, Dr. Roshan Pokharel, expressed his willingness to implement the Global Standards while acknowledging the potential hurdles, particularly in Nepal, where the scarcity of human resources poses significant challenges.

In the workshop’s opening ceremony, USAID/Nepal’s Health Office Director, Ms. Patricia Mengech highlighted that digitization of the health supply chain offers opportunities for improving the efficiency of current health systems - in ensuring the quality of medicines, and ultimately, the quality of health services and patient safety. 

The workshop was attended by officials from the Ministry of Health and Population, the Department of Health Services, and the Nepal Bureau of Standards & Metrology. Likewise, representatives from international non-government organizations, external development partners, and private sector stakeholders also attended the two-day workshop. Experts from USAID, WHO, & PQM+ presented on Global Standards (GS-1) for supply chain visibility, GS-1 identifiers, data carriers, traceability architecture approaches, and the WHO Digital Implementation Investment Guide (DIIG).

The closing remarks were delivered by the chair, Director General, DDA, Mr. Narayan Prasad Dhakal, where the upcoming activities regarding traceability and digitalization were listed. The Director General outlined some of the priority activities, which included a traceability road map or strategy, a traceability situational or gap analysis, a market or landscape analysis, drafting master data guidelines, and most importantly, an awareness activity among the stakeholders to highlight the importance of traceability, which would lead to identifying substandard or false medicines within the supply chain and contribute to the overall patient’s health.

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