With CWW, NTD Supply Chain Forum develops the iNTegrateD database to improve the supply chain of donated medicines
Without available quality medicines and supplies, treating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) is an impossiblity. As with any public health program, effective intervention delivery relies on the right materials reaching the right people at the right place and time. Supply chains make program implementation possible. The appropriate use of technology is an important enabler of effective supply chain management. To foster effective NTD supply chain efforts, including through the use of appropriate technologies, the NTD Supply Chain Forum and Children Without Worms (CWW) have joined hands.
The first mile of the supply chain entails the manufacture, packaging, and shipment of materials to endemic countries.
The NTD Supply Chain Forum, with CWW, has collaboratively developed iNTegrateD, an online NTD supply chain database. The Forum completed development of the iNTegrateD prototype in January 2016 and has been beta-testing the database since September 2016.
For the NTD community, iNTegrateD is a first-of-its-kind tool. Forum members had identified a major “first mile” challenge in the NTD drug supply chain as limited information sharing between partners. As a result, the Forum developed the tool to capture data from pharmaceutical and logistical companies, the World Health Organization, and national government NTD programs. Collected data enable the creation of short- and long-term manufacturing and shipping forecasts, preventing supply chain bottlenecks during production, packaging, and transportation. The iNTegrateD database allows national NTD programs to track their respective shipments in real time. It facilitates measurement of key performance indicators and thus the systematic identification, and subsequent addressing, of major supply chain issues.
Established in 2012, the NTD Supply Chain Forum is a public-private partnership that includes pharmaceutical companies, donors, the World Health Organization, non-governmental organizations, logistics companies, and endemic country ministries of health. Forum members annually supply over 70 national NTD programs with over one billion doses of donated medicines. The Forum strives to improve NTD supply chains by, for example, facilitating information sharing and utilizing statistical modeling to streamline delivery of co-administered medicines across separate supply chains.
The involvement of Children Without Worms in the development of iNTegrateD continues to demonstrate CWW’s approach of prioritizing collaborative efforts to advance practical, innovative approaches and tools for STH control and the wider NTD community.