Faith-based organizations (FBOs) provide a substantial portion of the health care services in many African countries. FBO facilities do consider family planning and reproductive health services as essential to reducing maternal and child mortality, and to the growth of healthy families. Many health facilities, however, struggle to maintain adequate stocks of reproductive health (RH) supplies because of the various RH supply chains and funding sources, which often operate separately from other medicines and supplies. The purpose of this study is to identify the types of supply chain systems used by African faith-based health facilities to acquire reproductive health products… to describe their problems and challenges, and to identify possible corrective actions.

Results: Of the 46 facilities surveyed, 55 percent faced stockouts of one or more products in the three months prior to the survey. Stockouts were less common for contraceptives than for other RH products. Significant strengths of the FBO supply chain included creativity in finding other sources of commodities in the face of stockouts, staff designated to monitor quality of the commodities, high capacity for storage, low incidence of expired products, few instances of poor quality, and strong financial sustainability mechanisms, often including patient fees. Weaknesses included unreliable commodity sources and power supplies, long distances to depots, and problems maintaining the cold chain.

CLICK HERE to read the original article in its entirety. Family planning and reproductive health supply stockouts: problems and remedies for faith-based health facilities in Africa, published in the Christian Journal for Global Health.