Procuring medicines is not enough to make them available to the last mile. When functioning and fully funded public health supply chains are in place, the population, especially the most vulnerable, will receive the medicines when and where they need them.
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.
Around the world, immature immunization and health supply chains continue to inhibit availability of a variety of health commodities—including vaccines, nutrition products, reproductive health supplies, and general medicines—required to meet the health-related Sustainable Development Goals. Public health supply chain leader and manager capacity must be strengthened if this situation is to improve.
As countries strive to meet short- and long-term health goals, the need for medicines and medical devices required to reduce the global burden of common maternal and childhood illnesses has increased. But none of these goals can be realized without a dependable public health supply chain—the complicated system that gets medicines and supplies from where they are manufactured to the people who need them and are often a world away.
Drawing from the results-based forecasting for Mozambique’s Central de Medicamentos e Artigos Médicos (CMAM) conducted by the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, JSI’s Brian Serumaga weighs in with recommendations on how the widely contested central medical store model can be improved.
JSI’s Walter Proper, Director of the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT Public Task Order, explains why developing a strong, committed supply chain workforce and establishing supply chain leadership roles within a health system is essential to ensuring that health commodities get to the people who need them.