Local Name of Software: eLMIS and VIMS (Vaccine Information Management System)
Year Deployed: 2014 (eLMIS) and 2017 (VIMS)
Implementing Partner: John Snow, Inc. under USAID | DELIVER PROJECT and SCMS, and other funders.
Deployment Coverage: Nationwide
Partners: PATH, VillageReach, and CHAI (VIMS)
In 2006, data was largely unavailable for supply chain decision making in the Tanzania public health system, resulting in procurement and distribution decisions based on incomplete information. There was limited integration of the different functional processes, from procurement to inventory management, leading to inefficiencies and minimal logistics data visibility within Medical Stores Department (MSD) central and in zones and health facilities. In 2007, Tanzania’s mainland Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) began a nationwide rollout of the Integrated Logistics System, a paper-based system for managing and requisitioning essential medicines and most program commodities for over 5,000 primary health centers.
Leveraging the growth of broadband internet access and Tanzania’s eHeatlh Strategy, JSI and the MOHSW collaborated in 2012-2013 to design and extend the base OpenLMIS solution for the reporting and request of seven commodity categories including; antiretrovirals, malaria, reproductive and maternal health, tuberculosis and leprosy, essential medicines, and laboratory reagents and equipment. In Tanzania, OpenLMIS provides end to end visibility of the supply chain for informed policy decision making – from national procurement planning to replenishing health facilities at the last mile. In 2015 the system was adapted to the needs of Zanzibar’s autonomous health system.
For both Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar, all products ordered by health facilities from MSD (mainland) or Central Medical Stores (CMS, Zanzibar) except for vaccines are managed with eLMIS. Vaccines are managed through a parallel supply chain.
Dates of deployment: 2013 pilot, 2014 national rollout (mainland) and 2015 implementation in Zanzibar
Regions: All mainland and Zanzibar
Health Centers: 5000+ health centers on Tanzania Mainland and 150+ in Zanzibar
Program(s): Essential Medicines, Family Planning, HIV, TB, Malaria, etc. (eLMIS) and EPI (VIMS)
Configuration: Pull (eLMIS), push (VIMS), data entry at the district level and some connected health facilities
Products: All health products provided by MSD (mainland) or CMS (Zanzibar)
MSD uses Epicor 9 as their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, and Zanzibar CMS uses mSupply as their central warehouse management system. When a district approver approves a requisition for products (other than vaccines) in OpenLMIS, the data is then pushed to Epicor (mainland) or mSupply (Zanzibar) via a csv file export over secured FTP.
The export contains data on all products, quantities on hand, quantities ordered, quantities approved, and request date. Customer service officers at the warehouse convert the requisition into a sales order in Epicor or mSupply for fulfillment, and order status data are then transmitted back to OpenLMIS via a symmetrical CSV transfer over secured FTP.
Upgrading Supply Chain Management Systems
Strengthening Health Systems, eLMIS: Automated Data for Integrated Health Logistics Management
Changing Mindsets, Adapting to Technology in Tanzania
“I cannot remember the last time I submitted my requests within the scheduled time…this tool has simplified the process of entering data and has saved time.”