1. Moderator
  2. Supply chain & logistics
  3. Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Written by: Madjiguène Ndiaye, SNEIPS; Ibrahima Leye, Consultant; and Mariama Gueye, PATH

On October 27, 2010, the Government of Senegal officially launched a new project to demonstrate the impact of various changes and upgrades to the vaccine supply chain including the use of mobile warehouses to deliver vaccines to the peripheral levels of the health system. The ceremony kicked off phase two of the Senegal demonstration project which is being jointly implemented by the Government of Senegal and Optimize, a joint World Health Organization-PATH collaboration.

Senegal’s collaboration with Optimize was established to demonstrate and validate solutions to meet current and future challenges in managing supply chains for vaccines, medicines, and other health products. While the existing vaccine supply chain is challenged by various technologies, logistic, and management constraints linked to the introduction of the pentavalent (DPT-HepB-Hib) vaccine, these challenges are expected to multiply as newer products such as pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines become available in the country.

The project builds upon information gathered during a Phase 1 assessment between September 2009 and January 2010. The assessment helped establish a common understanding of the current status of the logistics of vaccination in Senegal and generated baseline data against which new technologies and systems will be measured.

In Phase 2, the partners will use moving warehouses (a truck and a pick-up) to integrate parts of the currently separate vaccine and medical supply chains and distribute supplies directly from the regional level to the peripheral health posts in all five districts of the Saint-Louis Medical Region. The moving warehouse is equipped with web-enabled computer equipment connected to a logistics management information system for sharing information in real time between different levels of the health system. In addition, vaccine storage facilities at the Regional Supply Pharmacy and refrigerators in 15 remote health posts will be retrofitted with solar technology which will decrease energy costs and increase the reliability of refrigeration systems in areas with only intermittent access to electricity. All this will be underpinned by increased advocacy and communication support to ensure successful implementation.

In his speech, Mr. Modou Diagne Fada, Minister of Health and Prevention explained how this initiative falls within Senegal’s integrative framework of strengthening the health system and how it will streamline resources and improve the timely distribution of adequate quantities of vaccines and medicines in the region. An enhanced information system is also expected to improve management, planning, and coordination of orders and deliveries between different levels of the health system. He urged health workers and all stakeholders to make the implementation a success with the hope that it can be replicated in other regions in the country as well as in other African countries.

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