Counting Medical Supplies in Africa


In speaking to health workers while on an observation trip to Ethiopia this month with Save the Children I repeatedly asked about access to medial supplies – from family planning supplies to medications for malaria, for example – and every health worker in every village I asked said the supplies were plenty. They were quite nonchalant about my inquiries, in fact, which signaled to me that whatever medical supplies the health workers need they can get. Running water and health posts with electric power are entirely different stories, however.

While I am sure this isn’t the case everywhere, at the health posts and health centers we visited there were always enough supplies. At every health post and center I took quick peeks into the supply rooms to get a sense of the amount of medical and health supplies for the people the health workers served. I found the supplies to be adequate,  but of course that is coming from someone who doesn’t know the everyday ins and outs of the health posts and centers.

Below is a medical supply room at a health center in the southern region of Ethiopia. While I don’t know first-hand what a typical supply room should look like there were adequate amounts of medical supplies on hand in this health post and in the others we visited.

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