Providing health care for people afflicted with pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus poses special challenges for logistics and administration of drugs and vaccines. In the coming months, the health sector must be prepared for major additional efforts as a new vaccine becomes available for distribution. The Logistics Support and Supply Management System (LSS/SUMA) has been very effective in managing vaccines for vaccination campaigns, and can be of great help in strategic distribution of vaccines in the current crisis. Several countries, including Argentina, Mexico, and Panama have expressed interest in using LSS/SUMA for such purposes.

In August, Argentina’s Department of Vaccines and Immunization of the Ministry of Health installed LSS/SUMA software and conducted training because of the crisis resulting from the pandemic (H1N1) 2009. The SUMA system was used by the Ministry for inventory control of different types of vaccines at the central level; the Ministry expects to expand the system to the provinces to help with receipt, distribution, and use of vaccines.

The effectiveness of LSS/SUMA for this type of operation was tested in the emergency caused by the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 in Mexico. SUMA personnel provided logistics in managing incoming medicines and supplies and were mobilized to assist in attending to health needs of the population. In order to increase the number of people able to operate LSS/SUMA, the Ministry of Health coordinated a series of training sessions in Mexico City as well as three large, regional training sessions in the states of Campeche, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas. More than 165 people from 26 states in Mexico participated. Training was provided to personnel from health services and institutes, public charities, the office of the President, the Ministry of Social Welfare, and hospitals. Visits were made to warehouses in individual states where recommendations were made on management systems.

The experience in Mexico made it possible to develop program files for LSS/SUMA that define specific supplies needed for health care during the pandemic emergency, and which can be integrated at facilities in other countries. LSS/SUMA does not replace existing inventory systems, but it has proved to be a valuable tool for ongoing monitoring and management of warehouses and pharmacies. For more information about LSS/SUMA, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..