Family planning

Kenya’s ‘Game Changer’ app for tracking family planning commodities wins global award

ISIOLO, Kenya – As a frontline health worker at Isiolo County Referral Hospital, Denis Mutirithia has a vital role – and a new digital tool that will help him save lives. The Pharmaceutical Technologist is responsible for predicting and preventing shortages and stock-outs of essential medicines, including contraceptives.

If he takes timely delivery of the essential drugs and supplies he receives from the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), the clients of the hospital have timely access to the drugs they need. But if they are late, a litany of disasters can result, including unwanted pregnancies and increased maternal and newborn deaths.

Now, a new app is set to be a game-changer for healthcare workers like Mr. Mutirithia. The Electronic Proof of Delivery, or e-POD application, enables tracking of deliveries to primary health care facilities at the touch of a button on a mobile phone.

“By checking the app on my phone, I am able to know when a particular delivery of family planning products is due. This helps us advise customers accordingly, so they get their method of choice when shopping. their next date,” he said. said.

Global winner

The e-POD application received the award for Best Innovative Healthcare Supply Chain Solution at the Global Healthcare Supply Chain Summit 2021 in early December. It was developed to improve the delivery of family planning commodities and other essential medicines and supplies to health facilities in Kenya. So far, it has been rolled out to ten counties across the country and is expected to be available in all 47 counties by mid-2022.

“Timely delivery of products and supplies has been one of the significant challenges we have faced as KEMSA. With the introduction of this new system, we will be able to ensure that products are delivered in the correct facilities, in the right quantities and This will help us facilitate timely payments to our suppliers and transporters, and timely invoicing to development partners supporting family planning programs,” said the Acting Director General. of KEMSA, Edward Njoroge.

The mobile app was developed as part of the “last mile Kenya” program, implemented through a partnership between KEMSA and Coca-Cola Beverage Africa, with support from UNFPA. The app borrows from Coca-Cola’s expertise and best practices in supply chain management and distribution. It digitizes data entry at the point of delivery to provide real-time data on the products received, their quantities and the time of delivery.

The KEMSA e-POD application uses GPS to ensure products are delivered to the appropriate healthcare facilities. The app allows healthcare facilities to report that they have received products in the correct quantities. It also monitors order turnaround times to avoid delivery delays that could lead to stock-outs of vital health commodities at health facilities.

Improving the supply of contraceptives

The e-POD app is one of two innovations, developed with support from UNFPA, that aim to improve the delivery of family planning commodities.

In 2019, UNFPA, in partnership with HealthStrat, rolled out Qualipharm, a digital reporting tool that tracks consumption of family planning commodities at the county, sub-county and facility level. The application is loaded on tablets distributed to product managers, including pharmacists and product managers in public health establishments, who use it to take stock of the products consumed during the period, but also to spend some orders.

Using these reporting tools provides end-to-end visibility into critical supplies. They also improve the quality of reported data.

“The introduction of e-POD and Qualipharm apps is expected to be a game-changer, not only for healthcare workers, but also for citizens who depend on public healthcare facilities to access life-saving healthcare products, including family planning. commodity planning contributes to the elimination of unintended pregnancies, which ultimately leads to reduced maternal and neonatal mortality, as well as improved health and well-being of women and girls” said Charity Koronya, Family Planning and Commodity Safety Specialist at UNFPA.