Final Report: Integrating Oxytocin Into the EPI Cold Chain

Report

Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) remains one of the major causes of maternal mortality. The World Health Organization recommends oxytocin as the most effective medicine to prevent and treat PPH, particularly for facility-based births. Most countries have included oxytocin in their standard treatment guidelines and essential medicines lists; however, to keep its potency and effectiveness, oxytocin must be maintained at a temperature between 2 and 8 degrees C throughout the supply chain. 

In most countries, the Expanded Program for Immunization (EPI) has dedicated resources and capacity building to maintain the cold chain for vaccines from the countries’ ports of entry to the point of services. A cost-effective solution to the oxytocin cold storage problem would be integrating it into the already functioning EPI cold chain. 

Under a grant from the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition Innovation Fund, Management Sciences for Health conducted scoping studies in three countries. Based on findings on acceptability and feasibility, Uganda was selected to receive further support to integrate oxytocin into the vaccine cold chain.