Interview for World Health Day: Kemi Ayanda, Director of Learning, Knowledge Management, and Strategic Communications, GHSC-PSM Nigeria
For World Health Day 2021, we conducted an interview with Kemi Ayanda of Panagora Group, focusing on the themes of health equity and COVID-19 response.
Kemi Ayanda is the director of learning, knowledge management, and strategic communications for Global Health Supply Chain-Procurement and Supply Management project (GHSC-PSM) in Nigeria, where she leads a team of KMC and CLA experts.
Panagora is a subcontractor to Chemonics for GHSC-PSM, which is procuring and delivering health commodities, strengthening in-country supply chain systems, and fostering collaboration among supply chain stakeholders worldwide. We are spearheading knowledge management and communications centrally and for country-level programs (including in Nigeria), and supporting advocacy and knowledge sharing under the Global Community component.
What is your role at Panagora?
As director of learning, knowledge management and strategic communications on the Nigeria Global Health Supply Chain-Procurement and Supply Management project, I lead a team of experts in implementing an innovative strategy that tracks, documents, and strategically communicates USAID’s support in improving availability and access to lifesaving health commodities in our country.
What do you enjoy about working for Panagora?
I am both humbled and proud to work at Panagora! Working at Panagora has been a delightful and positive experience for me. The team spirit is very vibrant, positive, and active. The Panagora vision and team constantly demonstrate that it is possible to start small, aim big, and achieve greatness. I am #PanagoraProud!
What inspires you to work in global health supply chain management?
Over the decades, I have worked in various aspects of the development sector and especially in health. Working in global health supply chain management is entirely different and it is a unique and interesting experience for me. The complex processes involved in getting commodities to the last mile is a fascinating maze, requiring innovative and strategic thinking and acting. Deploying monitoring, evaluation, and learning strategies on this project is a whole different “kettle of fish!” No single day on the job is the same. I find my job extremely challenging, which makes me especially passionate and excited to contribute my quota daily!
How does your team support USAID in the context of global health equity?
I am especially lucky to work with a team of passionate and experienced professionals who like what they do. For us, health equity means getting lifesaving commodities to all Nigerians–especially those who live in hard-to-reach or remote areas–in a timely fashion. Equity also means that health commodities for major health needs such malaria, HIV/AIDS, family planning, and reproductive health are accessible to everyone across the country, regardless of their gender or societal status. The Nigeria team is supporting USAID’s vision by ensuring that Nigerians lead and sustain the momentum gained over the years. We do this by supporting the Government of Nigeria in establishing and implementing policies and systems, committing resources, and building the required in-country capacity to ensure drug availability, for instance, through drug revolving schemes.
How is COVID-19 affecting supply chain management around the world?
The COVID-19 pandemic has indeed changed how supply chains are managed around the world, and especially in Nigeria. More importantly, the pandemic has provided us with the opportunity to innovate by deploying a rapid response through technology and creative ideas. It has taught us to think and act differently, positively, and collaboratively.
How do you foresee Nigeria’s health system changing in the years ahead because of this pandemic?
There has been a complete departure from the normal–no more “business as usual.” We will sustain and improve the use of technology to better plan and deploy solutions to strengthen the country’s health system resilience. We have learned that by collaborating and integrating, we can use resources more efficiently and leverage technology to harness our collective strength in this sphere to improve the Nigerian health system.
What would you like to share with the global health community on World Health Day?
On World Health Day, I join colleagues across the globe to lend my voice for “a fairer, healthier world.” I commend and salute all the resilient health workers and professionals–and especially funders of health interventions–across the world and in Nigeria for their tenacity, resourcefulness, passion, and commitment. A more equitable and healthier world is only attainable when we all work together!
“For us, health equity means getting lifesaving commodities to all Nigerians–especially those who live in hard-to-reach or remote areas–in a timely fashion.”