“If a bottle of Coke can be found in rural communities across Africa, why can’t we find medicines and supplies in the same places?” This question is the driving force behind Project Last Mile (PLM), which uses The Coca-Cola Company’s logistic, supply chain and marketing expertise to improve health systems across Africa in a sustainable way. GHLI’s work with PLM began in Tanzania, where we teamed up with supply chain experts in the Coca-Cola system and the country’s Medical Stores Department to evaluate an new program to improve access to critical medicines in more than 5,000 locations. GHLI examined factors that either help or hinder effective partnerships.
Lessons learned from Tanzania helped expand this partnership to other countries and provided training tools to prepare global health professionals to both harness the power of private sector partnerships and build technical skills in supply chain management. The PLM global partnership includes The Coca-Cola Company, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, USAID, The Global Fund, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and aims to expand to ten African countries by 2020.
GHLI currently works with PLM in South Africa, where our team is conducting an impact evaluation of PLM’s partnership with the National Department of Health designed to improve access to chronic medicines and decongest health facilities by creating alternative pick-up points at convenient retail and community locations. Download the annual report to learn more about Project Last Mile.