WHO‘s Logistics response to Ebola in Liberia’s Bong County: Root causes and effects of last mile inventory management challenges for Ebola related products’’
by Pray Gwatinyanya
In public health systems, inventory management is often practiced at varies stages of the supply chain network. However, inventory management practices at the last mile health facilities in most developing countries often contribute to poor service delivery and program quality. In some countries governments, donors and private sector organizations are collaborating in identifying factors which are contributing to inventory management challenges at the last mile and jointly design solutions.
This study sought to unpack the root causes and effects of last mile inventory management challenges of Ebola-related products at health facilities in Liberia’s Bong County. In order to get more insight into the root causes and their effects, the researcher used questionnaires to gather data from the sample population of eleven. The selected sample was part of those charged with the inventory management responsibilities of Ebola products at their respective health facilities.
The results of the study revealed that inventory management challenges of Ebola products were as a result of several factors. Among them were lack of skills, knowledge, and competency, lack of motivation, lack of training, infrastructure challenges and duplication of responsibilities by partners.
The researcher, therefore, recommends the capacity building of current human resources to be able to meet minimum standards, mapping of the skills gap and putting in concrete supply chain skills and knowledge development on the agenda. The government can achieve this through collaboration with humanitarian organizations and private sector companies in finding a permanent solution to wages budgetary funding constraints.
Continuous improvement process through conducting training, supervision and mentorship programs. Development and dissemination of guidelines and policies such as warehouse standard operating procedures and supply chain strategy documents and the enforcement of recruitment policy and key in addressing inventory management deficiencies at the last mile health facility.
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