Mozambique Launches New System to Streamline Healthcare Imports

Alliance works with UNICEF, Government agencies, Business, to ease vital shipments

Mozambique is upgrading its technology and introducing new processes to fast-track imports of vaccines crucial for preventing common diseases like cholera, polio and measles, and rapid test kits that enable early diagnosis and treatment of malaria and HIV.

The initiative to automate and streamline processes underpins two separate, concurrent projects initiated by the government with support from the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (the Alliance) to digitalise and integrate relevant trade processes into Mozambique’s existing Single Window.

The first of these projects, launched in partnership with UNICEF and involving the local private sector, is slashing processing times for shipments of vaccines and related medical products by digitalising pre-shipment authorisations, replacing a duplicative, paper-based system. This will reduce the time and cost of storing perishable vaccines in a controlled environment, lessening the risk of spoilage, and allowing them to reach vulnerable people, including children, more quickly.

In the second project, the Alliance worked with the Ministry of Health and importers in reducing the time and cost of importing rapid test kits for HIV/AIDS and malaria. Early detection and treatment of these diseases is vital in managing these conditions and in preventing their further spread.

Mozambique has made sustained progress in reducing child mortality rates but vaccinable diseases such as diphtheria, measles, rubella, and polio still represent serious challenges to public health. Additionally, 12.6% of the adult population is living with HIV, with women disproportionally affected.

Reform of existing procedures allows faster shipment, reducing clearance times that could previously take up to 11 days. Additionally, greater collaboration between government agencies involved in implementing the processes is expected to increase transparency and certainty of supply.

Dr. Noémia Muíssa, Coordinator of Division of Inspection and Licensing of Entities at Autoridade Nacional Reguladora de Medicamento (ANARME), the national medicines regulatory authority, detailed some of the anticipated improvements.

“Joining the electronic Single Window will allow flexible management of the import processes of pharmaceutical products, ensuring the different actors involved in the processes monitor them in a transparent way. It will also guarantee the issuance of reports with concrete data in a timely manner, all of which will benefit both ANARME and importers.”

Mariamo Aly Hassane, President of the Association of Importers and Manufacturers of Medical Products (AIPROMEM), and Vice-President of the Confederation of Economic Associations (CTA) said the initiative marked the culmination of a long CTA campaign advocating the integration of these border processes into the Single Window.

“This initiative will contribute in a major way to reducing costs and minimising delays in the entire pharmaceutical import/export chain. AIPROMEM expects all stakeholders to implement it in a functional and continuous way to maximise its effectiveness.”

Edson Madeira, UNICEF Mozambique Chief of Supply & Logistics Section, congratulated the Government of Mozambique for its commitment and expressed its high appreciation to the Alliance for all the efforts convening key stakeholders and the technical support provided.

“This new system will ensure timely delivery of critical supplies to protect children from preventable life-threatening infections and diseases in every district, leaving no child behind. We trust the success of this initiative will also inspire other countries where we have programmes in the region, and beyond.”