Ensuring the availability and proper use of logistical information for decision-making is a major challenge for the Malian health system at both the regional and central levels.
Until 2015, Mali was using a paper-based system to manually compile, analyze, and aggregate data. This increased the risk of errors and required significant time from health facility staff. To promote lifesaving efforts through fast and timely decision making, the USAID-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program has supported the Malian Minister of Health in implementing OSPSANTE, a logistics management information system (LMIS) that is facilitating the use of logistical data on medication.
Since April 2015, the OSPSANTE application has been functional, capturing the monthly data from health centers each month, and with a reporting rate of approximately 80%. OSPSANTE supplies a rapid alert system for priority programs in key public health areas—namely malaria, maternal and infant health, and family planning—to support real-time decision making.
Ségou: towards the adoption of logistical data
On January 26, 2016, the OSPSANTE monitoring committee convened at the Ségou Regional Department of Health to analyze the logistical data generated by the application in December 2015. The committee aimed to use this information to formulate recommendations to ensure effective medicines distribution, which would help avoid many stock-outs in health establishments. The committee also discussed how to improve the quality of the collected information and how to counter the low levels of promptness in certain districts, namely the Baroueli (48%) and Bla (82%) districts.
The reporting rate rose to 98.1% for the analysis period, which enabled the committee to draw up an analysis report signed by the DRS and to submit it to all the districts. Discussions with the procurement planning and monitoring report for malaria (PPRM) also took place to expedite the delivery of stock distribution from January 2016.
This analysis enabled the health department to identify the reasons for certain failures, which must be corrected by the district chief medical officers to distribute stocks fairly and offer all citizens quality health services. To this end, the recommendations have been submitted so that the logistical data can be analyzed to improve decision-making on the field. Additionally, the importance of forecasting with stock buffers at the regional level to facilitate the supply of health establishments has been emphasized.
By analyzing the available data, the department was able to readjust stock levels of essential medicines throughout the region. For example, it was possible to prevent the stock-out of AL6 in the Markala District, and to redeploy, via a redeployment plan, an overstock of 2618 AL6 from the Baroueli district.
OSPSANTE revolutionized the functionality of Logistics Management Information System in Mali; particularly in the six regions (Kayes, Koulikoro, Sikasso, Ségou , Mopti and Bamako) covered by SIAPS’s intervention. Actually, more than 80% of health facilities in these areas submit the monthly logistic data report.
Despite SIAPS’s efforts to improve information availability and accessibility for better and faster decision making, it has become clear that good data does not necessarily mean good decisions. The low level of appropriation and ownership of actors, at all levels, for analyzing data and making relevant decisions show that we still have to work with key stakeholders to help them make informed decisions at the right time.