In October 2018, the USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) project trained the Ministry of Health (MOH) Supply chain department in Liberia to develop supply plans with PipeLine, a supply planning database and software that allows users to see inventory, forecasts, and procurements in one place and continuously monitor supply levels. PipeLine provides advanced notice of potential stock imbalances and shares information. Prior to this training, Liberia's government relied on GHSC-PSM to update its supply plan for programs individually.
GHSC-PSM worked with the National Quantification Technical Committee (NQTC) of the MOH and partners, including Village Reach/Last Mile Health and UNFPA, to estimate commodity requirements, gaps, program costs, and consumption forecasts for each product. The project held a three-day training to review and update the national supply and procurement plan and shipment schedules for tuberculosis products using PipeLine. Now, the project can monitor stock status and plan shipments, including lead time and estimate future product needs by quantity and cost using the software. The MOH agreed to update the supply plans with the project and local supply chain partners for various health programs based on the level of coordination, engagement and technical support provided by GHSC-PSM during the training.
The training resulted in the first national tuberculosis supply plan in Liberia. Through the efforts of GHSC-PSM and the initiation of a supply plan stakeholder's meeting, the tuberculosis program has a supply plan for the next Global Fund grant period (January 2021-December 2023). In addition to tuberculosis, GHSC-PSM developed supply plans for malaria, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDs commodities using PipeLine. Combining the technology solution with a collaboration between the project, data providers, the Global Fund, and UNFPA enabled GHSC-PSM officers to monitor stock status and plan shipments in line with minimum and maximum stock levels. Regular trainings and three-day quarterly supply plan reviews for GHSC-PSM officers alongside joint updates to the supply plan, including Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDs commodities, will ensure that national supply planning capabilities expand in Liberia.
Following national quantification supported by short term technical assistance provided by GHSC-PSM, the PipeLine database, thus far, has developed national supply plans for four health program areas—HIV/AIDs, malaria, reproductive health and tuberculosis. The MOH National Quantification Technical Committee team's leadership will be the foundation for future national supply plans to ascertain health commodity requirements. This uses a harmonized methodology to determining national requirements to plan future commodity needs while identifying funding gaps. Based on this experience, the National Quantification Technical Committee instituted a quarterly technical review to institutionalize national health commodities supply plan reviews.