Image of a man in a warehouse inspecting goods

Efficient Supply Chains Deliver Results in Kenya .

By improving the pharmaceutical supply chain in Kenya, life-saving medicine is reaching more than 340,000 patients faster than ever.

In 2012, the $550-million USAID Kenya Pharma project became the first USAID project to be ISO 9001 certified, applying an internationally recognized standard for effective supply chain management to help deliver life-saving antiretroviral therapy to more than 349,000 patients throughout Kenya.

A model of supply chain quality management, the Pharma example has caught the attention of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), the premiere organization of quality management practitioners. Kenya Pharma’s successes are featured as the cover story on their June supply chain issue of Quality Progress Magazine.

"We are focusing on ensuring that this operation is sustainable. Chemonics' model is ‘build, operate, and transfer.’ ISO certification helps us achieve that model."

Kenya Pharma Chief of Party Steve Hawkins.

Kenya Pharma has seen numerous benefits from using an ISO 9001 approach for supply chain management. Some of these include:

  • Since QMS implementation, the average time for sea and air shipments to clear customs decreased from 21.8 days to 5.7 days for sea shipments, and from 2.5 days to 1.8 days for air shipments.
  • The percentage of health facilities passing supply chain data quality audits increased from 53 percent to 68 percent, and significant improvement was seen in the project’s performance forecasting future costs to manage and operate the supply chain.
  • World Health Organization (WHO) treatment guidelines and a series of industry-wide technical standards in procurement, distribution, and warehousing, were purposefully woven into the Kenya Pharma Quality Management System (QMS) processes to ensure the supply chain was in compliance, and all industry and technical requirements were captured and reinforced by the QMS.
  • With the QMS as a centralized, but flexible, and ever-improving system, the project can now push out information and updates faster to remote Field Service Representatives (FSRs) who work around the country–in some cases in very remote locations–serving as the direct liaisons between the project and the clinics and hospitals they serve.


USAID project to be ISO 9001 certified


patients in Kenya supplied with life-saving antiretroviral therapy


days required for sea shipments to clear customs; down from 21.8 days

Through the development of an ISO 9001-certified QMS for Kenya Pharma, the project has in hand a sustainable blueprint for effective pharmaceutical supply chain management that can be transferred to local Kenyan counterparts at project in 2014 when the project ends.

“We are focusing on ensuring that this operation is sustainable. Chemonics’ model is ‘build, operate, and transfer.’ ISO certification helps us achieve that model,” explained Kenya Pharma Chief of Party Steve Hawkins.

Click to view a copy of our Kenya Pharma ISO 9001:2008 certification.