The power of standards in healthcare

At GS1, we believe in the power of standards to transform the way we work and live. When used in healthcare, our standards can even save lives. A big step forward has been achieved recently through GS1's 2nd African GS1 Healthcare Conference, which took place from 17 to 19 September 2019 in Lagos, Nigeria.

Cohosted by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control in Nigeria (NAFDAC) and financed by the World Bank, the Global Fund, USAID and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (IFPMA), the GS1 Healthcare conference brought together 287 participants from 34 African countries and 9 countries around the globe. Representatives from 70 regulatory bodies and 12 humanitarian organisations, like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and UNICEF joined manufacturers and healthcare providers in this incredible event where 30 experts spoke.

In addition, 25 African regulatory authorities as well as six health financing and donor organisations signed a Call to Action at the GS1 Healthcare conference, proclaiming their intention to pursue pharmaceutical traceability by adopting global supply chain standards.

Another major highlight was when UNICEF went on stage to communicate to the audience the recent decision of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, that as of October 2019, vaccine tenders issued by UNICEF and backed by Gavi financing will require GS1 data and barcode standards.

The commitment, the passion, the dedication of all conference participants to what global standards can bring to improve health in Africa was stunning. The path will be long, but something happened that week in Lagos to show us that all is possible if you believe in the power of standards.

Miguel Lopera, GS1 Global