United Nations Population Fund Kenya (UNFPA Kenya)

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Family Planning Commodity Tracking using SMS System

The SMS system is a Logistics Management Information System used to track family planning commodities. The main purpose of the system is to achieve a more comprehensive tracking of commodities in real time

Information gathered is used to make concrete decisions such as re-distribution of commodities between health facilities, forecasting and supply planning. In addition, the system informs distribution of family planning commodities from the central medicals stores to health facilities and the district stores. Ultimately, the system will help minimize and eliminate stock-outs and overstocks in the supply chain of family planning commodities.

One of the major challenges facing family planning programmes in the region is the constant supply of family planning commodities. Paper based systems slow down reporting rates by about 60 percent. The push system often resulted in large quantities of commodities in certain regions and stock-outs in others, in addition to numerous bottlenecks along the supply chain that remained clogged.

Pharm Access Africa Limited (PAAL) developed the SMS system and it has been in use since 2011 in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa. Consequently, reporting rates in health facilities that use the system have significantly improved from an average of 46 percent to over 90 percent. In 2012, the SMS system was introduced in UNFPA programme district (Migori, Kilifi and Naivasha). To strengthen the implementation of the system, refresher trainings were done in these districts during the last quarter of 2013.

How it works

Short Message Service (SMS) is used to send opening stocks, Closing stocks, stocks ordered, stocks received, adjusted positively, adjusted negatively for each of the ten reproductive health commodities namely: male condoms, female condoms, DMPA, combined oral contraceptives (CoC), Progestin only pills (POP), IUD Copper T, two rod implants, one rod implants, emergency contraceptives (EC) and cycle beads.