by Dan Brigden, WHO Over the last five years, project Optimize has worked closely with national immunization programs to explore innovative solutions to supply chain challenges. Each project has attempted to solve a particular immunization challenge—from an electronic immunization registry in Albania to a moving warehouse in Senegal, and from remote temperature monitoring in Vietnam to web-based stock management in Tunisia. The results of these projects have now been collected, analyzed, and published on the PATH and World Health Organization (WHO) Optimize websites. “Optimize has learnt many things during its five years of existence,” observes project director Michel Zaffran. “We’ve seen successes and failures, and our efforts have contributed to catalyze efforts to explore innovative solutions to supply chain challenges. Now we need to share the lessons we have learnt so others can make use of them and continue the effort.” Optimize collaborated with national immunization programs to demonstrate innovative solutions in six countries: Albania, Guatemala, Senegal, South Sudan, Tunisia, and Vietnam. Detailed information on the projects undertaken by project Optimize can be found in a set of country-specific Optimize reports available on the PATH and WHO Optimize websites. Also available is a set of evidence brief reports that provide brief summaries of key findings in particular areas. Albania In Albania, Optimize collaborated with the Albanian Institute of Public Health to help transform the way immunization data and vaccine stock are managed. The collaboration attempted to evaluate the benefits of two demonstration projects: 1. Immunization Information System (IIS). The project developed and implemented an online immunization information system that can record immunization data and manage vaccine stock. The new system—named IIS—can schedule and record child immunizations, as well as manage vaccine stock and storage. The aim of the project was to measure the impact of accurate and timely immunization data on immunization and vaccine stock management. 2. Remote temperature monitoring. The project tested a short message service (SMS, or text message)-based system to monitor and log temperature conditions in peripheral cold chain equipment. The aim was to assess whether these remote alarm systems facilitate better vaccine and cold chain management than non-connected temperature loggers. The Optimize Albania Report. http://www.who.int/entity/immunization_delivery/optimize/Optimize-Albania_report.pdf Senegal In Senegal, Optimize collaborated with the Senegalese Ministry of Health to demonstrate innovations in the supply chain that can help the national immunization program to increase efficiency and improve performance, preparing the country for the introduction of new vaccines in the future. The following demonstration projects were undertaken: 1. Supply chain integration. This included integration of public-sector vaccine, drug, and other health product supply chains. 2. The moving warehouse. Specially equipped trucks are being used to deliver vaccines and other health products from the regional level directly to health posts. The Optimize Senegal Report. http://www.path.org/publications/detail.php?i=2272 Tunisia In Tunisia, Optimize and the Tunisian Ministry of Public Health collaborated on three demonstration projects to explore new logistics and supply chain solutions that can optimize the vaccine supply chain: 1. Streamlined and integrated supply chain. This project demonstrated the benefits of streamlining and integrating the storage and delivery of vaccine products with that of other public-sector health commodities that require refrigeration. 2. Net-zero energy supply chain. This project demonstrated an environmentally friendly vaccine supply chain at subnational levels using solar energy to achieve zero net energy consumption. 3. Computerized logistics management information system (LMIS). A computerized LMIS demonstrated tracking and tracing vaccines in real time throughout the supply chain, mitigating the risk of overstocking, expiry, and vaccine wastage. The Optimize Tunisia Report. http://www.who.int/entity/immunization_delivery/optimize/optimize_tunisia_report.pdf Vietnam In Vietnam, Optimize collaborated with Vietnam’s National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology to demonstrate new technologies and software systems that could be used to improve the performance of the vaccine supply and logistics system: 1. VaxTrak—a computerized system for tracking vaccine stock and reporting aggregated monthly immunization data. 2. ImmReg—a paper-based and computerized system for aggregated reporting of fee-based immunization services. 3. Computer- and mobile phone-based technologies for tracking children due for immunization and recording the immunizations given to them on an individual basis. 4. A new passive cooling device for storing vaccines in commune health centers. 5. New direct-drive solar refrigerators for storing vaccines in district health centers. The Optimize Vietnam Report. http://www.path.org/publications/detail.php?i=2269
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