New Report Outlines Actions for Building Resilient Sexual and Reproductive Health Supply Chains during COVID-19 and Beyond

May 7th, 2021 | News


It has been said many times that 2020 was an unprecedented year – the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted daily life and resulted in tragic loss for many. Yet, in many ways, 2020 also represented the best of human resilience: our collective ability to overcome challenges and fulfill our commitments. The disruptions caused by COVID-19 also presented an opportunity to reflect and adapt in many areas of life. 

JSI provided technical support to the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition on a rapid assessment to do just that: understand what about our supply chains helped ensure continuity of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) products and services, and identify what we could do better moving forward. In collaboration with the Ministries of Health in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Zambia, we conducted an intensive review of quantitative and qualitative data and interviews with more than 50 coalition stakeholders who offered insights into challenges and lessons in resiliency.

The Building Resilient Sexual and Reproductive Health Supply Chains during COVID-19 and Beyond Community Roadmap for Action and Technical Findings summarizes the key findings and lays out a community action plan to strengthen end-to-end supply chains for SRH products. Findings suggest that disruptions were most acute in the early months of the pandemic and supply chains largely adapted to new constraints by Q3/Q4 2020. Disruptions were most severe for freight and manufacturing, and the pandemic response required rapid policy changes and adaptations to operations. As the pandemic continues, uncertainty and risks remain, particularly for freight (costs and reliability) and financing for SRH products.

The focus of the action plan is to accelerate the adoption of practices that worked well in 2020 and to mitigate disruptions and weaknesses that pose the greatest threat to widespread SRH product availability in the short- and long-term.

The pandemic has confirmed the importance of collaboration in response to big challenges; our hope is that we can harness this collective action to tackle the “big” challenges along the supply chain and overcome emerging and long-standing barriers to client access to SRH products.

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