Newsroom & Blog

Sep 13, 2013   |   Blog Post

You Can’t Manage What You Can’t See


One of the biggest challenges in a vaccine supply chain is the information system—a way to know the stock levels of each vaccine at each health center, knowing how much has been delivered and used each month in order to plan for what will be needed in the next month. Without this information, a manager can’t manage.

VillageReach has been working in Mozambique for a decade, supporting the Ministry of Health and its Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) to strengthen the vaccine supply chain. One aspect of our work is the information system, making data available for evidence-based decision making.

A new video shows how this information system is helping EPI better manage the vaccine supply chain. vrMISvrMIS is a web-based logistics management information system designed to provide health workers with up-to-date information on the vaccine distribution system. It provides nearly real-time data, showing not only how many children were vaccinated but also how the distribution system is operating and where the bottlenecks are.

With vrMIS, information collected at the health center level can be used by province-level decision-makers to monitor performance, assess overall vaccine distribution needs, and take measures to reduce stock outs and improve coverage rates.
vrMIS helps the Ministry of Health see what’s happening with vaccine distribution. Health centers that were once isolated are now part of a larger network of information sharing. Having this information available has improved logistical planning, provided better accountability mechanisms, and strengthened the capacity of the existing health system.

We are in the process migrating vrMIS to OpenLMIS, a collaborative, community-focused initiative to create an open-source electronic LMIS for supply chains. This will provide an opportunity for Mozambique to be part of a larger system allowing for more timely decisions to improve health system performance.

This video is part of a series developed by PATH, highlighting different health information systems around the world. Check it out on YouTube.

Wendy Prosser, Program Manager, Health Systems Group

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