Assessment on Vaccine Supply Chain and Logistics Systems in the Case of Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Supply Agency Jimma Branch, Jimma South West Ethiopia
Background: Immunization helps save lives, protects serious illness and is recognized as one of the most effective public health intercessions available today. However, the success of the programs depends heavily up on the immunization supply chain management including storage, transportation and handling of vaccines in a proper manner. It was therefore important to assess the immunization supply chain and logistics practice.
Methods: Institution-based cross sectional study was conducted from september to october 2019 in Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Supply Agency (EPSA) Jimma branch. Purposive sampling methods were used because the hub has completed the Woreda level vaccine transition and have better experience on vaccine management. Moreover, all staffs who directly engage on vaccine management were a respondent in this study. For the analysis of the quantitative data descriptive statistics supported by SPSS software version 20 was applied, and for qualitative data document analysis was done.
Results: The study result shows that, the branch has sufficient positive storage capacity, but the available negative storage volume only covers 65% of negative storage capacity needed. Respondents were agreed on bundling practice during distribution of vaccines, disagree on refrigerated vehicle pre cold before loading of vaccines, whereas strongly disagree on temperature of vaccine is always monitored during transportation and availability of adequate number of vehicle for transportation of vaccines for which respondents remained neutral. The investigator has observed as continuous temperature loggers that track and record cold room, refrigerator and freezer temperature were not available to any of the storage facilities and the there is no complete set of temperature records.
Conclusion: The study strongly indicates the need to improve vaccine logistics supply chain management practices, especially in the area of vaccine storage and handling and temperature monitoring. EPSA and development partners working on vaccine logistic and supply chain management should have intensify their technical and material support to improve the vaccine management practices.