Two Cities in TCI-Supported Jharkhand, India, Empower CHWs to Streamline Supply Chain Management

Mar 22, 2024

Contributed by Abhishek Kumar, Manjurur Rahman Khan, Deepika Anshu Bara, Sunil Kumar, Nilesh Kumar, Samarendra Behera and Deepti Mathur

Two Cities in TCI-Supported Jharkhand, India, Empower CHWs to Streamline Supply Chain Management

Mar 22, 2024

Contributed by Abhishek Kumar, Manjurur Rahman Khan, Deepika Anshu Bara, Sunil Kumar, Nilesh Kumar, Samarendra Behera and Deepti Mathur

Saifullha Ansari, City Community Process Manager in Bokaro, with two community health workers.

An efficient and uninterrupted supply chain for family planning commodities is imperative for successful programming. The Family Planning Logistics Management Information System (FPLMIS) initiated by the government of India revolutionized the health system by digitizing the supply chain. Yet it wasn’t yet active in some urban areas, as TCI witnessed in Bokaro and Deoghar, two cities in Jharkhand State.

Before TCI engaged with Jharkhand’s cities, a paper-based manual supply-chain system was in use that had many shortcomings, such as poor inventory management, a top-down push for commodities, no real-time, on-demand information on supplies, and difficulty in compiling and analyzing data at the district level. This led to overstocking at times, shortages at times, or complete stock-outs at times at different facilities. FPLMIS was a good solution but it had only been introduced in rural areas.

To streamline family planning commodities management using FPLMIS across health facilities, TCI advocated with the state’s family planning unit. The unit called for a joint meeting with Jhpiego, which had been appointed by the state to provide technical assistance to operationalize FPLMIS in Jharkhand. The meeting resulted in TCI being asked to support Jhpiego by mapping Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANM) in the FPLMIS system. Jhpiego would then train both groups of community health workers (CHWs) in FPLMIS after the mapping was completed.

As a result, 264 ASHAs (241 in Bokaro and 23 in Deoghar) were trained on FPLMIS. Approximately 65% of trained ASHAs in Bokaro and 60% in Deoghar now regularly track family planning commodities in the FPLMIS portal with minimal support.

When Saifullha Ansari, the City Community Process Manager in Bokaro, witnessed this tracking and its effect on timely information getting to the warehouse for a smooth supply of family planning commodities, he noted that the Public Health Manager used to keep track of commodities but CHWs were closer to the situation on the ground:

 After the coaching and mentoring received from the TCI India team, we realized that FPLMIS-indenting was meant to initiate from the CHW level so that they had timely access and could distribute to all needy beneficiaries.”

The FPLMIS training was welcomed by the CHWs as well. An ASHA named Pratibha said:

 Earlier, if there was a stock-out situation, I had to wait for the supply or ask other ASHAs for commodities. But after the training, I know if I raise the indent on time, then I can get the supply of FP commodities on time and meet the needs of beneficiaries during my household visit.”

Effective and efficient supply change management for family planning commodities is essential across health facilities, because of the negative impact stock-outs can have on family planning service delivery and quality.

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