Even where good national policies and systems exist, unless those managing the “last mile” of the supply chain—from the district or organization to the health facility to the patient—fully appreciate the impact of their work and are trained to carry out their responsibilities, essential medicines and supplies will fail to reach medical staff and patients. As a manager of a health program or of health services at the district or health facility level, you can successfully accomplish this by using the practices described in this chapter, which focuses on supply management and use of medicines.
The chapter outlines the essential elements of managing supplies at the district and subdistrict levels and in nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), provides practical guidance in assessing and improving the supply system at that level, and offers a range of other technical and managerial resources and references that will enable you to improve your management skills and study the areas that interest you further. Each section also provides overviews, guidelines, and checklists that will help you and your team identify and resolve major problems.
This publication is Chapter 8 of Health Systems in Action: An eHandbook for Leaders and Managers.