1,000 Years of Expertise Making Sure Vaccines Stay Effective

Last week, UNICEF hosted a meeting where experts with a combined 1,000 years of practice in cold chain maintenance discussed some of the current challenges and opportunities related to cold chain maintenance and temperature monitoring at the country level. This blog highlights some of the key themes that came out of the meeting.

The Deadly Sleeping Menace of Meningitis and What Can be Done

Ultimately, preparing for outbreaks begins long before the first case and must entail a strong routine immunization system that provides vaccinations to all target groups, regular communication and education of the public, regular upskilling of health workers, strong surveillance, prepositioning and stockpiling vaccines and appropriate medicines.

Putting the Logic Back into the Logistics of the Immunization Supply Chain

Immunization supply chains managers should be thinking about how to use new technology and innovative ideas to deliver more product, faster, and at a lower cost. We aren’t looking for Amazon Prime and delivery in an hour (although that would be nice). What is needed, though, is a reliable and efficient supply chain system that guarantees that all children can be immunized.

How is your Memory? – Due Dates, Home-Based Records, and Vaccination

Sometimes, simpler solutions like paper cards are more efficient and usable than technology – particularly where they are needed most and where mobile services, electricity, the internet, and computers are not reliably available. Also, often the paper cards – when their value is emphasized and understood – can “live on” longer than the ever-changing and limited archival storage of electronic systems. A combination of both can be very effective.

Looking to Invest in Health? Here’s How to Get the Biggest Bang for Your Buck

The economic case is compelling: returns on investment for every child vaccinated are huge. Every $1 spent on vaccines brings a 16-fold return on investment — this climbs to a return of $44 for every $1 spent if we look at all the extended benefits that vaccination brings.

Timor-Leste Recognized as Most Improved Nation in Health SDGs

Learn what steps Timor-Leste and its partners took to be rated as the most improved of 188 nations in the health-related Sustainable Development Goals index for the period 2000-2015.

From Semera to Seattle…with Real Time Medicine Logistics Data

When we first started this work (in Ethiopia) about seven years ago, when customers came to a warehouse in search of their medicines, the pharmacist had to run down to the warehouse to check if they had an item (it took too long to find the stock card). Now they can access the data the same way as my Walgreens pharmacist can. And they can look to see if the stock is available at any of the other warehouses (even if the nearest location might be a day away).

Reaching Mothers to Reach Children

Providing care for the mother during pregnancy has huge implications not just for her health but also for the child she carries and her community. Many health problems in pregnant women can be prevented, detected and treated during antenatal care by trained health workers.

Data Visibility Reduces Barriers and Improves Performance in the Vaccine Supply Chain

In Sindh Province, as in the rest of Pakistan, logistics data for the immunization supply chain was sporadically collected and seldom used for years. Stockouts of critical vaccines were commonplace, resulting in poor coverage rates and frequent outbreaks of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases. In 2013-2014, the federal and provincial governments, supported by JSI, USAID, UNICEF, and WHO, developed and launched a web-based vaccine logistics management information system (vLMIS) to address this problem, and started an ongoing effort to scale up use of the system across the nation.