Improving Family Planning Commodity Management in Dity, Haiti

 {Photo credit: MSH staff.}Nurse Odila Jeune Gens is responsible for family planning services at the Dity health center.Photo credit: MSH staff.

Located in the remote highlands of Haiti’s northwest region of Port-de-Paix, the Dity health center has not always been able to provide adequate family planning services to women in the 21 surrounding communities, despite the obvious need. Maternal and infant mortality is high in the region due to the high number of births, short intervals between pregnancies, and the lack of skilled birth attendants.

Nurse Odila Jeune Gens, responsible for family planning services at the Dity health center since 2007, describes the facility’s commodity management when she began working there as very poor. She says:

We waited until the stock was empty before buying new commodities because we would have to go by foot to the pharmacy or commodity dispensers to buy them.

Also, staff only bought and distributed commodities. We did not know how to produce monthly reports or use stock management tools. [As a result], patients would come to the center for family planning commodities, but there were none available.

In 2008, the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Leadership, Management and Sustainability Project in Haiti (LMS/Haiti) began supporting the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population to ensure the regular availability and effective management of family planning commodities. Since the time of the first LMS/Haiti distribution of these products in 2008, the health center has not had any stock-outs. In 2011, Nurse Odila participated in a LMS/Haiti-sponsored training on commodity logistics and management and U.S. family planning regulations.

“The support of LMS/Haiti has been an enormous relief,” Nurse Odila says.

We are now in the position to submit reports of our consumption so we can anticipate shortages and make appropriate preparations to ensure that the people of Dity always have access to family planning methods. All of our patients have, without any problems, access to all types of family planning methods.

We never have to turn anyone away due to shortages.

LMS/Haiti distributes family planning commodities to Dity on a quarterly basis. Between October 2012 and July 2013, LMS/Haiti delivered an additional 24,000 condoms, 2,400 vials of Depo-Provera, and 180 cycles of Microlut to the health center. In that same time period, the facility distributed 40,800 condoms, 1,965 units of Depo-Provera, and 140 cycles of Microlut.