ICFP News & Insights

A Conversation with Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) Director Martyn Smith

Nov 25, 2023

By Esenam Amuzu

FPNN Reporter, Youth Advocate, ICFP2022 Youth Trailblazer.

 

I sat down with Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) Director Martyn Smith at the 2023 RHSC General Membership Meeting (GMM) in Accra, Ghana to discuss several key topics:

 

Following the Drumbeat of the Reproductive Health Supply Chain Community 

After the GMM closing session, Martyn reflects on the energy of the 700+ committed individuals who attended the meeting in Accra.

He emphasizes how the drumbeat the community created continues long after the gathering ends—including the work done by manufacturers, donors implementing partners, and other colleagues from around the world.

There is a strong feeling of a collective push toward achieving universal access to reproductive health supplies.

Major Takeaways That Will Shape the Future

Martyn explains the top thematic areas he believes will play a significant role in shaping the future of reproductive health supplies.

  1. Financing reproductive health supplies is critically important, especially in a post-pandemic world. The availability of financing is more restrained than in years past, so being innovative with resources is necessary.
  2. The RHSC is committed to improving inclusion within the field and investing in the future leadership—particularly with regard to expanding female leadership in reproductive health supplies.
  3. Regional manufacturing of reproductive health supplies is also crucial. Many countries (in Africa in particular) are taking steps, in policy and the like, to ensure that in 20 to 30 years time, they can serve as key hubs for reproductive health supplies.

 

Thoughts on the Ghana Health Services

Listen in as Martyn touches on the role Ghana and the Ghana Health Service played in holding this RHSC meeting.

This was the first ever RHSC GMM held in West Africa, and colleagues from Ghana have been key partners to ensuring a productive and memorable event.

 

A Message to Young People Working (or Wanting to Work) in the Reproductive Health Supply Chain Sector

See the below words of advice that Martyn has for young people in, and interested in, the reproductive health supplies field: 

 

  1. Find your mentors. There are people within the community who are incredibly willing to advise people. For instance, the RHSC Supply Fellows Initiative is a great place to get started and grow in your career.
  2. Evaluate opportunities for furthering your studies. This can help you get to the next step in your supply chain career.
  3. Have confidence in yourself and in your ability to change the world.

————-

Esenam was supported by the Family Planning News Network to uncover and report on the role young people play, and will play, in the development of new approaches to solutions for the reproductive health supply chain. A special thanks to the Reproductive Health Supply Coalition for welcoming Esenam into the community. Learn more about the Family Planning News Network (FPNN) – here

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