PMI and USAID Improve Commodity Warehousing in Liberia

Oct 2018
Section of the Freeport Warehouse, Monrovia, Liberia Photo credit: GHSC-PSM, Liberia

Warehouses serve an important role in addressing malaria. When the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and other donors help countries purchase medications and medical supplies, they are stored safely in warehouses until distribution to clinics, hospitals, and community health workers.

The Liberia Ministry of Health used to have nine such warehouses spread across the capital of Monrovia. Managing these facilities – including inventory records, product expiration dates, purchasing, receiving – was a big challenge.

In April 2017, the PMI-supported USAID Global Health Supply Chain-Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) project assisted the Liberia Ministry of Health in consolidating two of the nine warehouses into one warehouse at Freeport, the country’s main commercial port facility. A month later, one of the remaining warehouses caught fire, destroying the health supplies, inventory records, and data office. At the request of the Ministry of Health, USAID facilitated an emergency transfer of all supplies from the remaining warehouses into the Freeport warehouse.

The result was the first integrated warehouse for the Liberia Ministry of Health, which should increase security of commodities and transparency of the supply chain.  For effective management of the warehousing system, GHSC-PSM provided technical assistance to establish a simplified Excel-based pharmaceuticals inventory management system.

The GHSC-PSM project also conducted a comprehensive inventory of the 1,542 cubic meters of supplies, which included 119,704,829 different types of commodities and 586 product types. This included not only malaria supplies, but essential medicines, family planning and reproductive health supplies, and assorted medical supplies donated during the Ebola outbreak.

This inventory report is currently guiding commodity quantification, distribution, and procurement for the Ministry of Health, donors, and partner agencies. The inventory records will be continuously updated and reports provided regularly to all stakeholders.

As a result of this major PMI investment and intervention to revamp the supply chain management system in Liberia, the Ministry of Health capacity to effectively and efficiently manage donor-funded commodities has improved.

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