The Coca-Cola Company and the Global Fund are expanding a project which uses Coca-Cola’s distribution systems and business expertise to help government and non-governmental organisations deliver critical medicines to remote parts of Africa, according to a news release issued by the Fund on 25 September.
“Project Last Mile," was established in 2010 to help the Government of Tanzania build a more efficient supply chain for medicines. The expansion announced by the Fund involves increasing coverage of the project in Tanzania (to 75% of the country) and expanding the initiative to Ghana and Mozambique. Opportunities to expand into additional countries are being explored.
According to the Global Fund, as a result of the project nearly 20 million people in Tanzania have better access to critical medicines; and lead times for medicines to be delivered to health facilities have been reduced by as much as 25 days.
Global Fund General Manager Gabriel Jaramillo said, “Unfortunately, when medicine is available, it doesn’t always reach the people who need it. Supply chains in remote parts of the world often don’t work efficiently, and that can mean that deaths that should be prevented still occur. What we noticed was that Coca-Cola’s products always seemed to get to every remote regions and we thought that if they could get their product there, with their support, maybe we could too.”
The news release from the Fund referred to a case study released on 25 September today by Yale University’s Global Health Leadership Institute that documents key lessons learned from the partnership.
The news release also said that a partnership with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has been established “as Project Last Mile continues to expand to other regions.”