Transaid works to improve vaccine distribution in Benin

AMP is a French NGO that is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of those most in need across the globe.  It supports major vaccine-related initiatives of WHO, UNICEF, GAVI Alliance and others.  AMP requested Transaid’s expertise to respond better to deep-rooted transport problems that deny rural communities access to vaccines in Benin and elsewhere in West Africa.  Benin’s recent figures show a decline in vaccination uptake.

Transaid has initially assisted on two projects. In July we assessed at high level the status of transport management for vaccine distribution in Benin. This rapid assessment suggested that a nationally managed transport management system (TMS) is essentially absent in Benin’s Ministry of Health.

With examples of Transaid’s transport solutions from elsewhere in Africa to improve vaccine distribution, these findings were presented at a two-part national workshop (July and September) to Benin’s Minister of Health and national and international experts and officials.

Pivotal to the process is to apply an evidence based vaccine-supply chain optimization distribution approach, EVM+HERMES (Effective Vaccine Management/Highly Extensible Resource for Modelling Supply Chains). Transaid’s role highlights the need for standard TMS approaches and measures to ensure that, as the modelling moves forward, sufficient, practical TMS systems are in place for its sustainability.
The second initiative provides distance-learning curriculum content for a pre-service health logistics training programme (LOGIVAC) that will begin in 2013. It aims to significantly improve the professional knowledge, standing and recognition of health logisticians within the ministries of health. Transaid’s input covers the key content areas of TMS and outsourced transport.

Transaid expects to further contribute in Benin, including perhaps through a more detailed TMS assessment. Besides the rewards of supporting the major MDG target of improved vaccine uptake, in a new country for Transaid with a committed partner in AMP, the challenges are exciting too. – Such as the learning curve of producing high quality training materials in French!