185905 Integrating Public Health Commodities Supply Chains in Tanzania: A Comparative Assessment

Monday, October 27, 2008: 1:06 PM

Jaya Chimnani, MPH , John Snow, Inc., Arlington, VA
Ali Mehryar Karim, PhD , Last 10 Kilometers Project, JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Timothy Rosche , John Snow Inc., Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
In 2002, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) in Tanzania embarked on an ambitious plan to integrate the health logistics systems of most vertical programs including family planning and essential drugs, resulting in the establishment of the Integrated Logistics System (ILS). In 2005 the ILS was pilot tested at all health facilities in two regions (Dodoma and Iringa). This study compared the performance of an integrated supply chain with a vertical supply chain system for the management of public health commodities.

It was expected that the integrated system would perform better than the vertical system since resources such as transportation, distribution, personnel management and logistics management system are integrated to streamline the supply chain system. In the vertical system, public health commodities are managed separately.

In June 2007, health facility surveys were conducted at 128 facilities in four regions in Tanzania. Sixty four health facilities were selected from two regions that have been using the integrated logistics system for at least two years. The other sixty four facilities were selected from two regions using the vertical system. Key logistics indicators were selected to compare the performance of the supply chain in each system. Pearson chi square statistics were used to identify statistically significant differences in the logistics indicators between the two systems.

The results indicate better overall logistics system performance in the integrated system. For example, there is lower frequency and duration of stockouts of essential drugs and family planning commodities in the integrated supply chain system. Use of transportation is also maximized in the integrated system.

The results provided the evidence required for policy makers to scale-up the integration of the supply health chain systems to other regions in Tanzania.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the importance of an efficient and an effective supply chain system for public health commodities 2. Define indicators that demonstrate supply chain performance 3. Describe the existing supply chain systems in Tanzania

Keywords: International Public Health, Health Management Information Systems

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I managed the study from beginning to end, including planning,design, implmentation, and presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.