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UNICEF MUAC Supply Chains

This question was posted the COVID-19 and nutrition programming forum area and has 2 replies.

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Hatty Barthorp

Global Nut' Advisor / GOAL

Normal user

2 Apr 2020, 11:00

We are looking to modify existing programs in line with the UNICEF-Cluster-GTAM Wasting Technical Brief no. 1:

Intensify efforts to strengthen the capacity of mothers and caregivers to detect and monitor their children’s nutritional status using low-literacy/numeracy tools including Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) tapes.

We have a limited stock of UNICEF MUAC's (MUAC, Child 11.5 Red/PAC-50) pre-positionned in our HQ (15k) but need access to many more to effect any sort of meaningful coverage. We have been told by UNICEF supply division that they are closed and working from home. In light of this, is there a way for UNICEF country offices to coordinate with cluster partners to outline supplies that are available in country now, but also can be sought prospectively through any operational supply chains with timelines?


Forum Moderator, ENN

Forum moderator

3 Apr 2020, 16:24

Hi Hatty,

ENN has consulted with UNICEF HQ on your question and want to pass on the following response:

To support the recommendations in the wasting brief, UNICEF have conducted a mapping of MUAC tape availability at country level which is feeding into a stock take of tapes available across the organisation at all levels. By Monday (6th) this will result in a projection of needs and an urgent request to UNICEFs existing suppliers. However one key constraint is that current major suppliers of tapes are in China, therefore ability to surge production may be affected. In anticipation of this, UNICEF has already started to explore alternative mechanisms and will likely open up and circulate the MUAC tape specification in coming days to facilitate country level emergency production. 

Both UNICEF HQ and Supply Division are operational and fully committed to respond to this and other essential actions. 

Hatty Barthorp

Global Nut' Advisor / GOAL

Normal user

7 Apr 2020, 10:04

Excellent news Tamsin, thank you so much for the info'. To add to this, GOAL have since heard back from UNICEF's supply division and been informed that large orders can be placed and distributions will happen in batches (we used 100k as an illustration). Initial lead times (for first part of 100k order) were estimated to be between 6-7 weeks, then 3-4wks for subsequent batches. They would expedite distributions by arranging for direct shipment from the suppliers to destinations, rather than first coming to Copenhagen.

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