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  3. Thursday, 04 November 2010
Many thanks to Mojtaba Haghgou for sharing this with our readers. The TechNet21 website will soon have a software depot from which you will be able to download VSSM and other latest software. Vaccination Supply Stock Management (VSSM) version 4.7, is a computer application, now used in the central stores of 14 countries [1] in different WHO regions. W-VSSM (Web-based Vaccination Supply Stock Management) has been developed and is presently being field tested. Preliminary test results have been promising. The database of the W-VSSM will be installed on a web server and all authorized recipients, such as provincial stores staff, will have access to their own data. Any dispatch from the national store will appear on the screen of the related province as a new shipment. At the province level, they have choices to confirm or deny the shipment or request for adjustment from the higher level site. The administrator of W-VSSM will have access to all reports and the current stock at the lower levels. W-VSSM is developed in MS Visual Web Developer 2010 Express Edition and its database is developed in MS SQL Server 2008 Express Edition. Care has been taken to develop W-VSSM using the various features and terminology of VSSM. Once W-VSSM is launched, the data of those countries already using VSSM will be converted to the web-based VSSM and therefore the historical data will not be lost and there is no need to start from the beginning. There are both success and failure stories in using VSSM during the last two-and-a-half years. The most successful of them was that of Pakistan and Iran—two of the most populated countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR). These two countries have been using VSSM since April 2009 and have gathered valuable historical data. Pakistan’s Federal Vaccine Store with 28 cold and freezer rooms and huge dry stores scattered around a large compound in the National Institute of Heath (NIH) in Islamabad could not have been so efficiently organized if it were not for VSSM [2]. Iran presented a different challenge since vaccines are locally produced in unique presentations [3]. There has been no computer application for stock management in Persian, but since VSSM can be easily translated into any language [4] and is fully customizable software, it has been a useful tool in managing stocks in Iran. Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has successfully adopted VSSM in three countries of the region as a pilot project, and VSSM will be installed in the fourth country [5] in November 2010. The Users Guide has been translated into Spanish. EMRO has also recently translated the Guide into Arabic. The challenge presented by the programme in the Philippines is of another nature. The Central Vaccine Store in the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), with its highly organized and sophisticated system, decided to use VSSM at the national level and has so far successfully merged the manual system required by the stringent audit system in the Philippines with reports generated by VSSM. VSSM has been translated into Laotian, one of the rare languages not supported by MS Windows and MS Office. VSSM is now functioning in the National Vientiane Store in Vientiane in Laotian although the translation was not compatible with MS Access, the media used for developing VSSM [6]. Sudan, the first country to have used VSSM version 1 since late 2008, has managed to upgrade their data files to later versions of VSSM locally and without any support from the VSSM team thanks to the simplicity of the software and the use of standard and commonly used packages. VSSM source and codes are provided to all users and they can modify it to suit their situation. UNICEF Somalia uses a special edition of VSSM version 4.6 in complex emergency operations at all levels where the programme is controlled from Nairobi beyond borders of Somalia. UNICEF added extra parameters and fields required for its own programming into standard VSSM successfully. Recently UNICEF Somalia proudly reported that VSSM is now functional in Mogadishu too. The failures that have occurred were in two countries where data were lost due to computer failure and probably virus attacks. The countries failed to comply with a simple instruction to take regular back ups. The other failure was lack of follow-up from higher-ups in some challenging countries. Since some programme managers did not follow up on operations after the implementation of VSSM at their stores and there was high staff turnover, VSSM ceased to function and it was abandoned. PAHO has drafted a checklist for following up on the implementation of VSSM. The checklist is also used by UNICEF Somalia. VSSM version 4.7 now caters for other supplies related to Primary Health Care (PHC) components, including supplies required for control of tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS and for programmes such as nutrition and reproductive health and all other injection and cold chain equipment, pharmaceuticals and spare-parts separately and without losing focus on vaccines and diluents. [1] Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Paraguay, and the Philippines. Somalia and Iran have expanded use of VSSM to provincial levels too. [2] Pakistan, with a population of 170 million is vaccinating its entire child population. [3] Locally produced DPT and dT in Iran are presented in 14-dose per vial and OPV in 15-dose per vial. [4] VSSM is available in English, Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish and the language can be changed at any time without affecting data. In addition, VSSM can be translated into any other languages in less than five hours. It has already been translated into Persian (Farsi), Laotian, Mongolian and Vietnamese. [5] Honduras [6] Lao PDR, where the programme was recently assessed using the newly designed EVM assessment tool, scored fairly high on stock management.
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Thank you Mojtaba for this detailed update. We in Nigeria use the Stock Management Tool as our own version software for vaccines and injection devices stock management. This is an excel based tool and it has served us well. We have successfully introduced it at the state (provincial) level. What we are interested here is the monitoring of the implementation. To this end, it would be helpful for us if we could get the checklist developed by PAHO so that we could adapt it for our own purposes. We would be grateful if we are directed to a source location for this checklist. Thank you most graciously. Abdul-Aziz --- On Thu, 11/4/10, moderator wrote:
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Thanks.This is exciting news. From the GAVI perspective it will be useful to have allcountries use this tool to monitor vaccine stocks. This will go a long way toensure efficient programme management. Look forward to hearing how othercountries plan to use this tool Mercy
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Thanks Hoghu I am one of those chosen ones who have been trained on VSSM by Hoghu. Its a wonderful tool that makes the life very easy for the store officer/vaccine stock manager and the EPI manager. It is user friendly and comprehensive. It is effective, provided the store staff/workers forward the accurate and timely information to the person working on the VSSM. It will be more efficient and effective once it is rolled over to the provinces and then to the dstricts. The best part is that it is free and we get free training from Mojtaba Haghou. Best regards
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Dearall Wehave a Stock Management Tool (SMT) which is used in most of the countries inthe ESA block. This tool work effectively form the LGA level, State up toNational level. I am worried if now and then we change tools even before we masterand use what we have. The current SMT to us in Tanzania is Ok we can easilymonitor what stock is at LGAs and State level. The problem we face istimeliness in reporting. I will ask Mr Ganivet to share the tool used. Regards Chris
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Dearall, Thetool that is mainly used in West Africa is the Stock Management Tool (SMT) developedby WHO’s personnel. This tool seems to work pretty fine in the countries whereit is implemented. SMT, for the moment, does a very good job in managing stocklevels at various levels and I don’t think if changing tools right now is a wiseidea. Countries need time to adjust and they are just mastering this amazingtool. I have never received a training in VSSM, but what I can say is that if atool works just fine, why change it? Furthermore, SMT is continuously updated byWHO. Timeliness reporting is the main problem with SMT, but that issue has todo with the personnel than the tool itself. Cheers, _______________________________ Hamadou Modibo DICKO Conseiller en logistique et en santé communautaire - Logistics and communityhealth advisor AMP -10 BP 638 - Ouagadougou - BURKINA FASO Tel : (226) 50 30 04 06 - Cell: (226) 72 02 80 37 Fax : (226) 50 30 04 09 - http://www.aamp.org
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Thank you all for the various comments and I see that a lot of the countries especially in Africa find the SMT quite useful. Myself I have not used the VSSM so I cannot comment on it.I am also not disposed to frequent change of tools as long as what is currently available serves the purpose it is meant to serve well. My only interest in this is the checklist developed by PAHO. I believe this has to do only with how the tool is used not the tool itself. And since it is not always in the best interest of the programme to re-invent the will, even for continuity, I believe if we can get the checklist and adapt to our own circumstances, then we will be able to give an objective report of what the various tools can do using common indicators. And I quite agree with Hamadou that timelines have to do with personnel attitude not the tools themselves. Regards. Abdul-Aziz --- On Fri, 11/5/10, Hamadou DICKO wrote:
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5.11.2010 Dear Mojtaba, Congratulations to you and to whoever else have contributed to writing up this software. According to your description it looks good , and gives the impression that it really addresses the needs felt in the field. I am looking forward to downloading it in order to study it better. I suppose that it will sub stitute the present WHO spreadsheet program. I already have the following comments and/or questions, but you are welcome to tell me to wait untill the software can be downloaded:
    Will the software serve well for vaccine forecasting? It is, beding web-based will the logisticians then at central level get an idea of what quantities are on stock at the mayor regional and district stores, and thus be able to forecast better and more exact future need of vaccine quantities?Will the software use historic data on consumption for vaccine forecasting?Who can the users contact for help in solving a problem, when implementing and/or running the program?Who will update the program- WHO?Can the software be used for redistributing excess stocks at regional/district store to stores that are under-stocked?Is the software auditor proof, i.e. can an entry be deleted without leaving any trace?
I am really looking forward to scrutinize your program ! Best regards, Mogens
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Hello everyone, is there someone who can explain to me what is the difference between SMT and VSSM in terms of functionalities? And can you suggest or send me any literature on both tools? Regards
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Mojtaba Haghgou, a Cold Chain expert, replies: SMT (Stock Management Tool) and VSSM (Vaccination Supplies Stock Management) are both computer applications to facilitate vaccine stock management. SMT is MS Excel based and VSSM is MS Access based. SMT is used in the African Region and VSSM in 22 countries in different regions of the world from Mongolia to Nicaragua. Haiti was the last country to adopt VSSM. VSSM has been translated into the main UN Languages and can be easily translated into other languages. Both applications are open source and they can be obtained from WHO. Based on the success of the stand-alone VSSM, a web-based version (wVSSM) has been developed in Iran; it is supported both technically and financially by WHO and Project Optimize and it is now used in Iran and Tunisia.
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Thank you Mojtaba, This is the clearest and most concise description of these different tools that I have seen to date. Congratulations!
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Diana Chang Blanc, EPI, WHO As Mojtaba states, the SMT and VSSM essentially serve the same purpose, are based on the same principles, target the same audience and produce similar outputs for effective monitoring and stock control. They are both open source; SMT is available in French/English and VSSM can be translated into any local language. The difference in their functionality lies in the capabilities of their software platforms and the types of graphics and reports that can be generated from each, and the ease with which they can be produced. Excel can be advantageous for the types of visuals that can be generated, while Access can be advantageous for facility in organisation and design of its reports. From a user’s perspective, one should consider the expertise, training and comfort level needed to manipulate Excel versus Access, as well as the type of trouble-shooting and follow-up technical support that can be provided when introducing either information system. The VSSM has the added advantage of having evolved to being web-based, although there can be difficulty in uploading data where internet is not stable as the system is not yet designed for off-line entry.
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Many thanks for this valuable information. One more question : do you know if VSSM is able to import data from MST?
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In addition for the functional comparaison I quickly made a chart (attached). Do you think I got it right? Best regards, Comparaison-functionnnalities.xlsx
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Here is a new version of the file with some valuable inputs from Mojtaba. Comparaison-functionnalities.xls
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Hi Dear : Moderator I want to Know What is the new of VSSM update ? and what is the web link to more information ? Best regards Kamal Nasser Mohammed Vaccine Management Abyan EPI
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Hello Nacer I'm ramzi from Tunisia , Do you remember me ( e pharmaceutical cold chain management course) We use VSSM since 2012. It's very practical ,easy to use. this my émail : [email protected] we can talk about that We can collaborate together to have VSSM in your contry
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Cogratulation Mojtaba,

Did you visit thehttp://v.lmis.gov.pk/which is going to be introduced in Pakistan. Can you compare it with wVSSM and what is the difference between these two.

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Dear Mojtaba, this is to inform you and all the coulleagues that VSSM has been stopped in Pakistan just on a one order that from today onward the LMIS will be operated only. We don't know how much LMIS is efficient and user friendly. The results will be seen after proper using this software. But this was ordered that VSSM is no more in Pakistan. The baby which we grown in May, 2009 is no more in April, 2015 at Pakistan....................

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