For more than a decade, VillageReach has been engaged with community and governmental partners on the ground in Mozambique to help increase reliable access to vaccines through the design and implementation of the Dedicated Logistics System, or DLS, an informed push model that redesigned the vaccine supply chain, introducing new efficiencies resulting in a dramatic reduction in stock-outs.
VillageReach is a leading contributor to global efforts to prioritize supply chain as a critical component to stock-out reduction and improved vaccine availability by designing, developing, implementing and promoting innovations like the DLS and the Pharmacy Assistant Training Program.
The DLH program has achieved impressive results. In health centers served by the DLS, vaccine availability increased from an average of 64% in 2011 to an average of over 95% in 2014. Today, the DLS is government-run, serving a population of over 6 million in five provinces.
The DLS introduced a comprehensive approach involving a simplified distribution process; the logistics management information system OpenLMIS; and dedicated logisticians who deliver vaccines and supplies, repair equipment, collect and report data, and provide active and ongoing supportive supervision and training, allowing frontline health workers to focus on patient care. Beyond the quantitative evidence, community health workers and Ministry of Health representatives alike have expressed how the DLS has had significant impact in reducing stock outs:
â€œStockouts of vaccines have dropped from above 15% to around 5%.
â€œThis system solved the problems of stock out of vaccinesâ€â€“ Emilia Albino, Health Worker, Chibuto District.
In addition the the DLS program in Mozambique, VillageReach has worked with the Malawi Ministry of Health and partners to develop an innovative Pharmacy Assistant Training Program. The program is producing a dedicated cadre of individuals with enhanced training in medicines management and supply chain practices. The first class of students graduated in June 2015, and are now deployed and serving health centers throughout country. The Malawi Ministry of Health has expressed the desire to place as many as 650 Pharmacy Assistants to meet the needs of its rural communities. In Malawi, as in most low- and middle income countries, there is no dedicated pharmacy personnel at the health center level, leading to unsafe dispensing practices and inefficient supply chain management. Through this new program, students are not only trained to dispense life-saving medications and provide patients with essential advice, but they also gain the skills to effectively manage inventory to ensure a well-functioning supply chain, which is critical to reducing stock-outs.
For more information, visit: www.villagereach.org