Cassandra Holloway joined CWW this past February and took on a critical role for the program—ensuring that the donations of mebendazole reach recipient countries in time for scheduled mass drug administration campaigns (MDAs). Logistics coordination has become increasingly important as new recipient countries join the program and the number of donated doses increases. Fortunately, Cassandra’s ability to see the big picture along with her data management skills have helped CWW address the program’s growing demands in this area.
One of the goals of Children Without Worms (CWW) is to ensure that donated mebendazole reaches recipient countries in time for the scheduled mass drug administration campaigns (MDAs). For almost all CWW recipient countries, MDAs are scheduled as part of a larger health event such as a school-health or immunization event. This means that the organization shipping the medication and the drug manufacturer must accommodate the dates for MDAs, which are typically fixed and cannot be changed.
Ensuring the countries receive the donations on time requires the ability to track the capacity of the manufacturer, country needs, and inventories of all recipient countries. It also requires knowing exactly where to ship the donation and who is at the other end to receive it. Any delay in the supply chain could prevent the donation from reaching targeted communities in time for the MDA.
At CWW, Program Coordinator Cassandra Holloway is the individual responsible for tracking all these details and ultimately for getting the right number of doses into the hands of recipient country staff in time for MDAs. Cassandra joined CWW in late February of 2011. Her ability to see the big picture around logistics along with her data management skills made her a natural fit for taking on logistics coordination for CWW.
Since taking on the role, Cassandra has developed a system for forecasting mebendazole needs and tracking shipments. It includes details on contact information, production schedules, inventories, population data and numbers of treatments administered in previous MDAs. As a result, she says, “At any given time I can say how many doses a country has in inventory, how many they need for an upcoming MDA and when they need it.”
She says that in logistics work, “It’s sometimes the seemingly minute details that make all the difference—like ensuring you have the right address for the port to which to send the drug shipment and the correct email address for the person responsible for receiving it.” Without tracking these details, she notes “the medication could end up sitting in a warehouse in the recipient country collecting dust rather than being used to treat children.”