Professional Changes Induced by a Redesigned Immunization Supply Chain in the Comè Health Zone, Benin
Elise Guillermet, Daleb Abdoulaye Alfa, Romule Gbodja, Philippe Jaillard
At the end of 2013, the Government of Benin and Agence de Médecine Préventive (AMP) launched a demonstration project in Comé Health Zone (HZ) to optimize the vaccine supply chain. A key part of the demonstration project was the creation of an “informed push model” of vaccine distribution supported by a new logistician position at the health zone (district) level. At the conclusion of the demonstration project in 2015, the authors conducted an anthropological study consisting of semi-structured interviews with 62 participants to assess how the new model changed the professional identities, roles, responsibilities, and practices of personnel involved in vaccine management during and just after the demonstration project end in Comé HZ. The study found that health workers considered the logistician as a key player in enabling them to perform their public health mission, notably by improving knowledge and practices in vaccine management, providing supportive supervision, and improving the availability of vaccines and other supplies so that immunization sessions could occur more reliably and professionally within the communities they served. The demonstration project was widely accepted among study participants.