iMMAP and WHO Dubai Combine Efforts to Amplify Monitoring and Tracking Capacities in the Time of COVID-19

COVID-19 has sparked a crisis in international shipment, hampering the movement of urgent medical items.

Screenshot of a COVID-19 response stock report developed by iMMAP

The World Health Organization (WHO) in Dubai manages a 14,000-square-meter infrastructure that houses medicines, medical supplies, and equipment, valued in the tens of millions of dollars. The warehouse is a critical medical logistics hub at the heart of Dubai’s International Humanitarian City. 

Following WHO’s announcement classifying the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a worldwide pandemic, the WHO has been the central point for advice, subject-matter expertise, updates and dispatching of vital medical supplies and commodities worldwide. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has also produced an evident disruption of the global supply chain of medical supplies and commodities, particularly personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, face masks, goggles, face shields, medical gowns and respirators. This unfortunate reality has heightened the demand to rigorously monitor and track worldwide shipments to a matter of utmost importance and priority, driving WHO’s pursuit in acquiring iMMAP’s well-founded information management expertise. 

Launched in May 2020, this five-month project primarily revolved around the monitoring, tracking, reporting and visualization of WHO’s supply and consumption data pertaining to their shipment of medical commodities from Dubai. iMMAP’s responsibilities were two-fold: data management and visualization.

iMMAP has modified and organized WHO’s data structure to eliminate fragmented shipment processes and develop a set of operational and advocacy products: a COVID-19 response stock report that details the amount of PPE dispatched to specific regions, an online order management system, and the nCoV dashboard.

The applied fundamental changes improved the operational accessibility of beneficiary country offices to vital medical supplies. Furthermore, the explicit and transparent information disclosing how donor money is being spent supported WHO Dubai in fundraising and enhancing donor accountability. 

The nCoV dashboard reports visualize the global availability and delivery of medical commodities. It details the monitoring of medical dispatchments in real-time, calculating a variety of components such as the total weight, volume and cost. The dashboard also displays a disaggregation of medical commodities by type, along with the leading recipient countries of WHO’s dispatched medical assistance. Increasing the visibility and quality of the supply chain data and consumption patterns strengthens monitoring and enhances the allocation of critical resources to beneficiaries. 

Screenshot of the nCoV Dashboard

Country reporting templates were also developed by iMMAP, to standardize and ease the data entry process, while an online order management system was created to register orders and notify WHO staff without delay. The system and workflow has been handed over to WHO staff to manage.

According to the latest figures, over 50 million people have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 disease, including over 2.9 million in the MENA region.