Improving Contraceptive Supply Management

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Having the right contraceptives on hand to meet the needs of all clients builds confidence in the services, helps ensure that the clients will keep coming back to the clinic, and helps prevent unwanted pregnancies.

The contraceptive supply systems used by family planning programs differ from program to program. Some systems determine quantities to reorder using only historical data, such as distribution reports. In other systems, clinic managers order contraceptives based on estimates of the program's needs. Programs also differ in how often stock is ordered and how the quantity of the order is determined. In spite of these differences, the principles of supply management are the foundation of these systems and their variations, and are highly effective in improving the management of contraceptive supplies.

This issue of The Family Planning Manager is designed to help all clinic staff understand and apply the principles of effective contraceptive supply management. It presents basic techniques for storing, managing, and ordering contraceptive supplies. Following a discussion of the fundamentals of good supply management, this issue provides guidelines to help managers keep contraceptive supplies in good condition through proper storage, and reviews how managers and their supervisors can keep inventory information up to date through regular record keeping.

The key to effective supply management in the clinic is the Maximum/Minimum inventory system. This issue of The Family Planning Manager explains how this system works and provides detailed instructions on how to set it up for the first time. The issue concludes with a discussion of how supervisors and program managers can help support effective contraceptive supply management in their clinics.