TechNet-21 - Forum

This forum provides a place for members to ask questions, share experiences, coordinate activities, and discuss recent developments in immunization.
  1. Patrick Lydon
  2. Service delivery
  3. Wednesday, 29 June 2011
In recent years, supply chain management has received growing attention as both a priority and a challenge for many countries scaling up immunization services with new vaccines. Indeed, the vaccine supply chain and logistics systems face the challenge to manage an increasing number of vaccines of higher value, greater volume and greater complexity in terms of packaging and presentations. Yet, little additional resources to adequately expand the supply chain systems are available, and alternative solutions to manage the increasing throughput of vaccines need to be explored. More and more countries are recognizing the benefits of engaging the private sector in supply chain and logistics functions by outsourcing the physical storage and handling of commodities to specialized logistics operators when such expertise is available in country. Although outsourcing is a growing trend and the theoretical benefits are clear, the true costs and benefits of doing so are not well documented. To bridge this information gap, an outsourcing review has recently been completed by WHO and the Collaborating Centre for Cold Chain Management (CCCCM) under the auspices of project Optimize. The review focused on the Western Cape Province experience in South Africa and provides evidence based information around the cost and benefits of outsourcing the vaccine supply chain to a 3rd party private sector company for vaccine procurement, warehousing, inventory management and the distribution of vaccines directly to health centres. Of interest is that the review was conducted in a context where three new vaccines were being introduced into the national immunization schedule in 2010 - Pentaxim (DTP-IPV-Hib), Rotarix (rotavirus) and Prevnar (Pneumo) vaccines. The full report has been uploaded to the Documents area of the Resources Section of the TechNet21 website.

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