Training and capacity-building

ILS training

 

  • ILS training 1
Equipping medical staff with supply management skills

The national medicines supply system is organized around the Integrated Logistics System ILS. The ILS which gradually replaced the kit system in Tanzania comprises the process and procedure of ordering and receiving medicines from MSD through the requisition system. Using the ILS system, medicines are ordered based on forecasted quantity needs. To request supplies, a health facility employee fills out a Report and Request form (R&R form).

Our HPSS situation analysis showed that weaknesses leading to inadequate supply of medicines partly stem from inefficient use of this system. To name just a few of the problems: in the majority of health facilities, non-pharmaceutical staff such as nurses or clinical officers, with no training in ILS procedures, submitted R&R forms. These health workers’ primary responsibility naturally is to provide clinical healthcare to patients; hence, supply logistics was not a high priority. Filling out R&R forms could at times take up to one week of work. Some facilities resorted to simply copying forms from the previous quarter. In other cases, items were requested until the facility budget was exhausted, but no efforts were made to reconcile needs and budget. Once forms were submitted, there was inadequate review of the forms at the district and MSD levels, weak guidelines and deficient communication regarding available funds and supplies. In addition, delays in delivery and low order fulfilment at MSD compounded the situation.

All of this leads to stock outs at health facility level.

The HPSS situation analysis also revealed that the only ILS training for pharmaceutical staff was in 2005. Since then, there had not been a refresher or repeat course, despite staff rotations in facilities.

Therefore we developed a comprehensive ILS training program with the goal to build capacity of health workers in medicines supply management and the ILS.

Training workshops for the Integrated Logistic System (ILS) were conducted in February and March 2012. Over 300 people attended the workshops, which were designed for the Regional Health Management Team, Council Health Management Teams, pharmacists and health care workers from dispensaries, health centres and hospitals. The zonal MSD manager was invited to allow direct communication with health workers.

The impact of the training workshops was assessed through pre- and post-testing to evaluate skills in practical exercises. This allowed identifying best performing participants and those requiring further mentoring. The average increase in performance was 60 per cent.