As a non-profit organization founded in 1983 by Dr Charles Mérieux, the Bioforce Institute aims to increase the outcome of public health services by strengthening logistics, and the impact of aid programs through training and career development. Based in Lyon (France), the institute has an office in Burkina Faso.
Its activities go from advocacy among major health organizations (as co-organizing the June 2011 “People That Deliver” global conference, contributing to defining the health logistician training curriculum with WHO/AFRO and other partners, working for Project OPTIMIZE to establish the 2020 vision on health logistics personals) to field projects (maternal and child health in western Burkina, emergency services in Benin, nutrition, water and sanitation, etc.) and training sessions in Europe and Africa (among which: the francophone “overview of supply chain management” in cooperation with the Deliver project in Ouagadougou, master on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene with the 2IE Institute, maintenance of laboratory equipment, etc.), and finally operational researches pertaining to health logistics workforce (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, DRC, Madagascar, Mali Senegal, and at the sub regional level (Western Africa).
Links to the health workforce crisis
Health workforce crisis not only reduces the number of health personal but also mobilizes critical functions as doctors, nurses, midwifes and pharmacists on logistics tasks – making them, already in insufficient numbers, less available for health care. In addition to that, the working environment that they operate in is not at the required performance level due to insufficient recognition of logistics functions, insufficient logistics skills, and insufficient resources for transversal functions in health systems aggravated by a vertical approach to funding health programs.
Bioforce contributes to building up the capacity of health personal with logistics functions and strives to create a professional workforce of health logisticians, in order to increase the performance of public health systems and thus creating incentive for doctors, nurses and midwifes to work in this environment including remote areas, and to freeing them for health care versus logistics concerns.
Bioforce is actively involved in publications and working groups, including the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) workstream on Professional Development of Supply Chain Managers, to improve health outcomes through better management of public health supply chains. Together, USAID, WHO, RHSC and Bioforce launched the People that Deliver initiative, which started with a global positioning and harmonization conference held in Geneva in June 2011.
Beyond advocacy, the Institute is involved in field actions to strengthen health logistics: in Benin Bioforce delivers training (maintenance of biomedical equipment, training of trainers) for the benefit of laboratory technicians and engineers on the one hand and doctors, managers and service managers on the other hand. In Burkina Faso, the Bioforce program provides a 3 year supply of equipment, training and structural support to the network of maternity hospitals.