6.3.3 Ordering supplies to avoid wastage
All drugs, vaccines, vitamins, infusion fluids (etc.) are unsafe to use if they pass their expiry date, i.e. the date printed on the package or bottle when the item must either be used or discarded. Therefore, efficient ordering and stock control is essential to avoid wastage. The same principles apply to ordering all the consumable items in your stock – for example, rolls of cotton wool, vials of vaccine or a box of surgical gloves.
You should be able to predict with reasonable accuracy the quantity of each consumable item that has to be ordered. The purpose is to ensure that your Health Post has adequate supplies to deliver the treatments and other health services that you have been trained to give to people in your community. Consider the following example of how you would estimate the quantity to order of a particular drug.
If you are treating two new adult cases every day for parasites in the intestines, and the standard treatment in an adult is a total of six 100 mg tablets of mebendazole, how many tablets will you need for a three month (90 day) period?
The calculation is as follows:
2 (patients) x 6 (tablets) x 90 (days) = 1,080.
So you will need 1,080 tablets of mebendazole for a three-month period.
Calculations like the one above will enable you to estimate the ordering requirements for all the supplies in your stores, based on usage rates.
More detailed instructions on estimating the quantity required for vaccines, based on their expiry date and rate of usage, can be found in the Module on Immunization.