The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to national program managers who are considering integrating oxytocin into the EPI cold chain. It is intended for representatives from relevant offices of the Ministry of Health (MoH), such as Pharmacy, Central Medical Stores, and Maternal and Child Health, as well as other policy makers, stakeholders, and implementing partners.
This guidance document introduces the pharmaceutical management elements that must be considered to successfully integrate oxytocin into the EPI cold chain and outlines the steps that will help national program managers plan the integration processes and strategies. Integrating oxytocin into the EPI cold chain may affect several elements within the pharmaceutical management cycle, from distribution systems, inventory management, and logistics management information systems and reporting procedures to roles and responsibilities, health facility infrastructure, and monitoring and evaluation. Some elements of the pharmaceutical system are afterthoughts that are only considered when challenges arise during implementation. Taking into account all elements that will be impacted by integrating oxytocin into a supply chain will not only help identify issues but also address needed changes in standard operating procedures and at the various stages of the supply chain. It is important to consider each element and address it in the strategy and implementation plan to ensure that oxytocin integration into the EPI cold chain is successful.