Warehouse Management for Health Systems

Course programme


Many of the challenges related to healthcare quality and stock-out situations in low and middle income countries are consequences of poor warehouse management of medicines. Appropriate warehousing of medicines, health products and medical laboratory supplies is an essential component of the supply chain management system, required to maintain the integrity of the health products and prevent stock-out or overstocking at any given time.

This course is designed to introduce you to good warehousing practices for medicines and health products within the health system. We will look at warehouse operations in detail covering the receipt, storage and dispatch of essential medicines. Other topics directly related to warehousing are health and safety, waste management and inventory control. Special focus will also be placed on monitoring and evaluation indicators for warehousing, quality assurance, and rational use.

Course objectives

After having successfully completed the course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the relevance of supply chain management within a health system.
  • List the components of supply chain cycle and their relevance to proper warehousing.
  • Explain the basic steps involved  in the proper warehousing of medicines and medical supplies.
  • Apply good warehousing practices in the management of medicines and medical supplies.


What are the target participants?

This course is designed for managers and health workers who are responsible for the warehousing of medicines and medical supplies -including laboratory commodities- at the different levels of the public health system. Personnel within pharmacies and other types of medical stores will benefit also from this course.

Teaching and learning strategy

This online course requires the students to engage in self-directed learning and go through the course materials on the learning platform with the support of an online facilitator. Taking part in discussion forums, exchanging ideas with fellow participants and doing self-evaluation through online quizzes form a vital part of the learning experience.

In addition, there are several short assignments to guide the learning process of the participants, offering feedback on the submissions and an opportunity to interact with the facilitator. Assignment responses should be submitted within the respective due dates.

Assessment and grading

Participants will be graded based on their online participation and completion of activities. A certificate of completion and an e-badge will be awarded to all those who complete a minimum of 75% of all online activities (lessons, quizzes, discussion forums). The percentage of completion will be measured automatically online as the participant goes through the course.

In addition, participants need to obtain a passing mark of minimum 7/10 on the post-test.

Course duration

6 weeks

Level of effort: 4 hours per week

Course schedule

Week 1

Basic components of a well-functioning health system
Introduction to the supply chain management of medicines
Steps in the supply chain preceding warehousing
Week 2

Warehouse operations
Warehouse management
Week 3

Inventory management
Logistics Management Information Systems (LMIS)
Week 4

Health and safety in the warehouse
Health waste management
Distribution of medicines and medical supplies
Week 5

Warehousing and rational use of medicines
Monitoring and evaluation of warehouse operations
Week 6

Quality assurance of medicines in the warehouse
Course completion
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