NDS/CMS our Roles and Responsibilities

Prior to November 26, 2015, the National Drug Service was responsible for: Procurement, Storage and Distribution of Drugs and Medical Supplies. NDS autonomy ceased since November 2015 and the Ministry of Health Took over.

Our role:
Since 2017 the role of NDS has been reduced to only warehousing management (storage), while distribution has been outsourced. We only stored commodities procured by the government and partners, and plan national distribution. Unlike previous years, when NDS/CMS was autonomous and therefore use her vehicles for delivery to the counties and the facilities at the last mile. The partners now handle delivery themselves, firstly, USAID Implementing partner Chemonics, and now the Global Fund is handling distribution using WFP as 3rd party transporter. CMS now only receives shipments for storage, process requisitions for dispatch which is delivered by WFP. At the county level the County Health Team distribute health products to the various facilities.

Why is this Clarity important?
It is important because not everyone know the changes we inherited and how these changes have stripped us of the powers to make sector changing decisions. We (supply chain) work like a track and field baton relay race. You can do yours stretch under 10 seconds if the next anchor flops, you could still lose the race.

Who does what?
Procurement of drugs and medical supplies (MOH, Donor partners)
Receives, review and approves requisitions from County depots and hospitals, listing their needs (SCMU/MOH)
Storage, processing approved requisitions, pick and pack commodities for dispatch (CMS NDS) our only role!
Distribution or delivery to the County depots and hospitals (Outsourced to WFP).
Last mile delivery from County depots to the facilities (Local County health team)
Making sure the medicine is kept in the facilities and use as intended (MoH)
CMS is only involved (by 1/6 or 16.6%) STORAGE MANAGEMENT AND PACKING for dispatch base on approved requisitions received from the MOH. WFP take charge from there to the county capital and the hospitals and turn it over to the county health team for delivery to the approve health facilities.
This clarity is important because of the public perception that NDS/CMS runs everything from top to bottom, but that is the way It used to be, not anymore. Until we get to the point were the NDS is Semi-autonomous or has the power to hold other members of the supply chain accountable, make HR decision base on competence, and receive the necessary support (financial, administrative, and policy). Supply chain challenges will persist. The current supply structure is quarterly, as part of our role, we support distribution every three months base on availability of stock. Health Facilities are also asked to make 3-month requests to the Supply chain management Unit (SCMU). Under the current arrangements our function has been reduced to storage and packing commodities, and we are successfully thriving in those areas. With a State-of-the Art warehouse, over 40 CCTV, biometric and facial recognition access, Commodity tracking system, and 24 security guards, at the central level we are good. We are far removed from the Hazardous and Burnt warehouse. Thanks to USAID Global fund and other partners.


But you see these are not the areas the patients /end-users see. What makes the difference in their lives is having needed lifesaving medical supplies in the facility. Hope we all run our stretch well to collectively win the race.
Please visit our website: www.nds-cms.gov.lr

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