A commodity distribution officer (at right) receives commodities for redistribution for a reproductive health clinic in Kisii, Keroka district, Kenya, following a shortage of commodities in Kisumu East District.
© 2011 Evans Nyapada/Jhpiego, Courtesy of PhotoshareAs a part of the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities (UNCoLSC or "the Commission"), HealthEnabled is working with partners to provide guidance and support on integrating and scaling digital health tools for commodity-specific and, more broadly, health systems strengthening work.

The Commission was founded in 2012 as a part of the Every Woman, Every Child initiative. It seeks to increase access to and awareness of 13 overlooked life-saving commodities for women and children (e.g., oxytocin, antenatal corticosteroids, chlorhexidine, contraceptive implants), covering the continuum of care for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH). The Commission's ten recommendations guide the work and activities of all of the collaborating partners.

The Commission's ten recommendations deal with:

  1. Shaping global markets
  2. Shaping local delivery markets
  3. Innovative financing
  4. Quality strengthening
  5. Regulatory efficiency
  6. Supply and awareness
  7. Demand and utilization
  8. Reaching women and children
  9. Performance and accountability
  10. Product innovation

Background

In order to carry out the Commission's mandate, a central convening body, called the Secretariat, was established. The Secretariat oversees and coordinates activities of technical reference teams (TRTs) that specialized on a commodity and/or market barrier or operated across all commodities. Global and local entities comprise the TRTs and each TRT is managed by one or more conveners.

Recognizing the important role that digital health could have in enhancing the work of the global and local partners convened under the auspices of the Commission, a cross-commodity TRT for digital health was set-up. The Digital Health TRT, convened by HealthEnabled, has been working with local and international organizations to leverage interest in and promote existing use of digital health technologies to enhance commodity access and availability. As a part of our work, we leverage our Expert Network and long-standing global partners to ensure

Description

In Nairobi, Kenya, a facility in-charge uses her phone and a system job aid to submit a monthly CDRR (consumption data report and request form) to the Tupange SMS commodity tracking system (TSCTS).
© 2014 John Kihoro/Tupange(Jhpiego Kenya), Courtesy of PhotoshareWorking closely with several of the TRTs, the Digital Health TRT has identified areas of common interest where digital health applications can make a real difference. In particular, there are three overarching areas of common interest across the TRTs: 

  • Obtain general facts on digital health
  • Use digital health in demand generation activities
  • Understand and implement programs, drawing from digital health best practices

Accordingly, the following specific strategies were developed based on the common areas of interest:

  • Scale-up and integrate regional mobiles for integrated community case management (m-iCCM) implementations, working closely with the Child Health TRT (convened by UNICEF and CHAI) and D-tree
  • Extend the reach of health worker training on new preparation and application of commodities in Kenya, working closely with the Newborn Health TRT (convened by PATH)
  • Provide technical advice to working groups, including the Supply Chain TRT's implementation group
  • Develop toolkits highlighting resources and best practices

 

Toolkits

The toolkits are publicly available interactive documents that direct readers to useful resources and implementation examples. They were developed by HealthEnabled with input and review from members of our Expert Network. The two toolkits provide general information on how digital health can be used to address each of the Commission’s ten recommendations and, separately, for demand generation activities.

>> Download the Demand Generation Toolkit
>> Download the RMNCH Toolkit

Additional Information

>> Visit this website to learn more about Life-Saving Commodities.
>> Check out HC3's I-Kit for implementation resources related to demand generation and the Commission.
>> Peruse this advocacy toolkit developed by PATH to help raise awareness on commodity-driven strategies.