Strengthening Family Planning Supply Chain through Improved Data Usage in Bangladesh
Using data to inform decisions in supply chain management (SCM) can significantly improve the availability of medical commodities. Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Family Planning (DGFP), under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, trained 108 officers (14 female) working on warehouse and Upazila inventory management systems on data usage for SCM as part of its operational plans to improve the availability of family planning commodities in the country. The three-day training, completed in June 2021 with technical backstopping from the USAID MTaPS Program, focused on utilizing acquired data from the electronic logistics management information system (eLMIS) for decision making on distribution of commodities at different levels of the supply chain.
The DGFP’s eLMIS is a web-based tool that monitors its national- and regional-level logistics data. Primary data are entered at local levels, and consolidated reports are available in the Ministry’s SCM portal dashboard, which can be accessed from anywhere in the country. The system was developed by the USAID-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services Program—MTaPS’ predecessor—and handed over to the DGFP in 2019. Since then, the DGFP has been organizing training with assistance on curriculum development and technical facilitation from MTaPS. Prior to the handover of the eLMIS, USAID had provided these training sessions for DGFP officials for more than a decade.
These training sessions are being conducted by the DGFP, leveraging its own resources and funding, with technical assistance from MTaPS.
The Upazila Family Planning Officer of Muradnagar in Cumilla, Md. Mizanur Rahman, said, “Our job required this training long ago, and we are delighted and rather hopeful to utilize the knowledge received in this training with efficiency.”
Mr. Md. Ali Noor, Secretary of the Medical Education and Family Welfare Division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and Ms. Shahan Ara Banu, Director General of the DGFP, presided over one of the training sessions. Both acknowledged MTaPS’ role in developing and strengthening the eLMIS.
“The eLMIS has become a great help for assessment of supply and demand status of family planning commodities all over the country. With the latest and accurate data in hands within the minimum time, making decisions for replenishment and readjustment of supplies has become a lot easier and efficient, thus increasing the efficiency of the services in whole.” – Ms. Shahan Ara Banu, Director General of the DGFP
The DGFP will continue to train inventory managers at the regional and local levels to strengthen their data usage and decision-making skills using the eLMIS for a more efficient SCM of family planning commodities.