Implementing a Provisional Supply Chain to Guarantee Availability of Contraceptives at the Community Level

Arabere Community Health Center (contraceptives inventory)
Arabere Community Health Center (contraceptives inventory)

Following the events of March 2, 2012, in Mali, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) suspended its direct support to the Malian government, particularly for contraceptives. This suspension negatively affected the availability of contraceptives at medicine sales outlets in community health centers (centres de santé communautaire; CSCom) throughout the country. USAID’s implementing partners are currently putting in place a provisional supply chain to ensure the continued availability of contraceptives at the community level.

The suspension of contraceptive procurement activities led to increasing unmet demand for these products at the community health facilities; the Pharmacie Populaire du Mali (central medical store) could not respond by itself to the needs of these facilities.

To respond to these unmet needs for contraceptives in community health facilities, a contingency plan was put in place by the USAID/Mali Mission through several of its implementing partners: Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS), PSI, and ATN Plus. This plan entails development of a provisional supply chain that would make medicines available to communities through the CSCom.

Accordingly, SIAPS/Mali supported the quantification of contraceptives needed for the public and private sectors. SIAPS also developed a distribution plan (from the central to the district levels) for the public sector.

PSI’s mission was to store the contraceptives purchased and delivered by USAID in its warehouses for the public and private sectors.

The role of ATN Plus was to transport the contraceptives from PSI’s warehouses to community health centers. To do this, ATN will rent provisional warehouses in health districts from which the CSCom can obtain stock.

This contingency plan’s objective is to guarantee communities’ continuous access to contraceptives despite the suspension of procurement activities for family planning products with the Malian government.