Improved Commodity Management at Santé Lumière Health Center, Haiti

 {Photo credit: MSH staff.}Marie Claude Joseph updating commodity management records at the Santé Lumière Health Center in Haiti.Photo credit: MSH staff.

In Haiti, only 31 percent of married women use modern family planning methods. According to the 2012 Demographic and Health Survey (known as the DHS), 52 percent of births in the country are wanted; 21 percent are unwanted; and 27 percent of pregnancies occur sooner than desired. Despite the evident need for family planning services, many facilities in Haiti, including the Santé Lumière Health Center in the Cayes district, have not been able to provide them.

One of the reasons for this situation, according to Marie Claude Joseph, who has managed family planning services at the health center since January 2006, is that the Santé Lumière Health Center has struggled to maintain an accurate inventory of family planning commodities. Personnel at the health center also have poor commodity management capacity, resulting in frequent stock-outs of family planning commodities.

In 2008, the USAID-funded Leadership, Management and Sustainability Project in Haiti (LMS/Haiti), led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), began supporting the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population to strengthen Haiti’s capacity to manage the supply chain of USAID-donated condoms and other family planning methods. LMS/Haiti has been training commodity managers and personnel at health centers throughout the country to improve the commodity management services.

Joseph is one of those who has benefitted from LMS/Haiti’s capacity building support. Since 2011, she has attended trainings facilitated by LMS/Haiti on contraceptive technology, commodity logistics management, and on the United States Government policy and legislative requirements for family planning. Said Joseph:

The field agents and I have been able to put into practice the concepts we learned during the training sessions. We re-organized our warehouse to better conduct physical inventory checks, produce regular stock management reports, and are consistently aware of our stock level to avoid stock-outs.

Thanks to the LMS/Haiti project, women seeking family planning services at the Santé Lumière Health Center are more likely to get what they need. Family planning commodities are consistently available at the center, with no stock-outs recorded since October 2011. For more than a year, the center has completed its stock management tools in an accurate, timely manner.