COCA-Cola and a number of philanthropic organisations have committed more than $21 million to work together to help African governments maximize their ability to get critical medicines and medical supplies to remote communities in Africa.
Among these organisations are the Clinton Global Initiative, Global Fund, the Bill & Melissa Gates Foundation and United States Agency for International development.
They have collaborated with Yale University’s Global Health Leadership Institute, Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP) and the Global Environment and Technology Foundation (GEFT) for the initiative, called Project Last Mile.
The initiative uses the Coca-Cola System’s logistics, supply chain and marketing expertise to help optimize delivery of medicines and supplies across Africa in a sustainable way.
Piloted in Tanzania where AIDS and tuberculosis drugs were delivered to the remotest areas on Coca-Cola’s delivery trucks, the programme was launched in Ghana in 2013 and focuses on sharing best practices in marketing and promotion of critical drugs and maintenance of cold chain equipment such as vaccine fridges.
Since its launch in Tanzania, medicine distribution in the country is said to have been transformed.
The government of Tanzania has reorganized and expanded its distribution system, increasing the availability of medicines in medical clinics by 20 to 30 percent.
Prior to the training and reorganization, there were approximately 150 warehouse drop-off points in the country.
Medicines are distributed directly to more than 5 500 health facilities.
In Ghana, Coca-Cola’s Cooler technicians work with the Ghana Health Service’s technicians to repair vaccine fridges and share best practices in cold chain equipment maintenance.
The project aims to expand to ten African countries over the next five years with Mozambique as the next country to benefit from the initiative.