Interventions to increase the distribution of vaccines in sub-Saharan Africa: a scoping review
Achieving universal access to immunization, as envisioned in the global vaccine action plan continues to be a challenge for many countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Weak immunization supply chain (iSC) has widely been recognized as a key barrier, hindering progress towards vaccination targets in this region. These iSCs, which were designed in the 1980s, have become increasing fragile and are now considered outdated. The objective of this review was to assess the effectiveness of system redesign and outsourcing to improve outdated iSC systems in Sub-Saharan Africa. We searched the following electronic databases from January 2007 to December 2017: Medline, EMBASE (Excerpta Medica Database), the Cochrane Library, Google Scholar, CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), WHOLIS (World Health Organization Library Database), LILACS (Latin American and Caribbean Literature on Health Sciences) and contacted experts in the field. Our search strategy yielded 80 records and after assessment for eligibility, seven papers met the inclusion criteria. Five studies evaluated the experiences of system redesign in three countries (Nigeria, Benin and Mozambique), two assessed outsourcing vaccine logistics to the private sector in Nigeria and South Africa. According to these studies, system redesign improved vaccine availability at service delivery points and reduce the cost of distributing vaccines. Similarly, outsourcing vaccine logistics to the private sector reduced the cost of vaccines distribution and improve vaccine availability at service delivery points.