Senegal To Explore Integrated Supply Chains and New Delivery Models by Modibo Dicko, WHO; Dr. Aboubakry Fall, Ministry of Public Health Senegal; and Dr. Ndiouga Diallo, PATH Optimize is discussing an agreement with the Ministry of Health in Senegal to explore several new approaches to supply chain and logistics management. The project will begin with an assessment of the existing supply chain using the newly completed effective vaccine management tool, as well as a cold chain and transport inventory. Based on those assessments, the team will study the feasibility of a moving warehouse distribution system adapted from a model developed by VillageReach in Mozambique, and also identify areas where the vaccine supply chain can be integrated with storage and distribution systems for heat-sensitive pharmaceuticals run by the National Procurement Pharmacy. Initial discussions with VillageReach suggest that a moving warehouse might be an excellent fit for Senegal where health workers are often required to travel to provincial or district warehouses for supplies. In the moving warehouse distribution system, rural clinics would receive monthly deliveries from the district with necessary vaccines and supplies. Delivery staff would also receive necessary training and equipment in order to ensure refrigerator maintenance and collect data on consumptions and vaccinations at each clinic. If the model works in Senegal, Optimize will work with the Ministry to develop a plan for nationwide scale up at the end of the project. Optimize would follow a similar plan for scale up of an integrated cold chain, should the pilot prove successful. An integrated cold chain is one that integrates a portion or all the storage, transport, delivery, and record keeping of two or more vertical supply chain. At present, there are completely separate supply chains for immunization program and other public health interventions in Senegal. Both carry heat-sensitive health products (vaccines, drugs, reagents, etc.) to the same general areas within a similar timeframe. They face the same logistical difficulties of storage and transportation, but they maintain completely separate warehouses, vehicles, and management structures. By working together, both programs may reduce cost and eliminate redundancies, improve efficiencies, and learn from each other. Finally, Optimize plans to explore the impact and efficiency of outsourcing equipment maintenance to the private sector for public health interventions in Senegal. Two objectives are being pursued: (1) alleviate the public-sector maintenance workload in all areas where private sector can be profitable, thus enabling the public sector to put their limited resources toward difficult areas of the country, and (2) provide alternative employment options for recently graduated maintenance technicians. In the end, Optimize hopes to work with the government to create a long-term vision for an optimal vaccine supply chain—one that can guide decision-making and policies for years to come. We invite you to comment on or post a question relating to this article by clicking the “post reply” button on this page. You will have to log in or register, but the process is very simple. To link back to the Optimize e-newsletter, click here.
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