The benefits of redesigning Benin's vaccine supply chain

Vaccine. 2014 Jul 7;32(32):4097-103. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.04.090. Epub 2014 May 9.


Introduction: New vaccine introductions have put strains on vaccine supply chains around the world. While increasing storage and transportation may be the most straightforward options, it is also important to consider what financial and operational benefits can be incurred. In 2012, suboptimal vaccine coverage and impending vaccine introductions prompted the Republic of Benin's Ministry of Health (MOH) to explore ways to improve their vaccine supply chain.

Methods: Working alongside the Beninese MOH, we utilized our computational model, HERMES, to explore the impact on cost and vaccine availability of three possible options: (1) consolidating the Commune level to a Health Zone level, (2) removing the Commune level completely, and (3) removing the Commune level and expanding to 12 Department Stores. We also analyzed the impact of adding shipping loops during delivery.

Results: At baseline, new vaccine introductions without any changes to the current system increased the logistics cost per dose ($0.23 to $0.26) and dropped the vaccine availability to 71%. While implementing the Commune level removal scenario had the same capital costs as implementing the Health Zone scenario, the Health Zone scenario had lower operating costs. This increased to an overall cost savings of $504,255 when implementing shipping loops.

Discussion: The best redesign option proved to be the synergistic approach of converting to the Health Zone design and using shipping loops (serving ten Health Posts/loop). While a transition to either redesign or only adding shipping loops was beneficial, implementing a redesign option and shipping loops can yield both lower capital expenditures and operating costs.

Keywords: Benin; Computational modeling; Supply chain; Vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Benin
  • Computer Simulation
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Delivery of Health Care / economics
  • Drug Storage / economics
  • Immunization Programs / economics*
  • Immunization Programs / organization & administration*
  • Transportation / economics
  • Vaccines / economics*
  • Vaccines / supply & distribution*


  • Vaccines