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Supply Chain Management for Health Care in Humanitarian Response Settings: Addendum to the Supply Chain Manager’s Handbook

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Strong supply chain management is needed to save lives and continue to deliver crucial health services and life-saving supplies. The Supply Chain Manager’s Handbook generally refers to supply chain management in support of stable health services, but managers can benefit by learning common best practices in humanitarian and emergency response contexts. Additionally, many concepts are common between the two contexts, and a stable system for health care development represents an eventual end goal of disaster response. Many systems may fluctuate between these two contexts for extended periods. Both supply chain contexts have a similar mission orientation, namely, to improve health and enable health service delivery by making health products available to the people who need them, which is different from profit-maximizing or cost-minimizing objectives of commercial operations.

This chapter provides an overview of health care supply chain management in the humanitarian response context, to help supply chain managers understand the types of activities they may undertake throughout the logistics cycle in order to better prepare and deliver to the people who need relief during a crisis. This chapter was updated by JSI in 2021.

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