Health News of 2014-07-04

Coca-Cola, partners commit $21m to improve medical supplies in Africa

Coca-Cola, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Global Fund, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID have committed more than $21 million to work together to help African governments maximise their ability to get critical medicines and medical supplies distributed to remote communities in Africa.

According to the Head of Public Affairs and Communications, Coca Cola, Ms Ama Bawuah, in collaboration with Yale University’s Global Health Leadership Institute, Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP) and the Global Environment and Technology Foundation (GEFT), the initiative, called “Project Last Mile”, uses the Coca-Cola System’s, logistics, supply chain and marketing expertise to help optimise delivery of medicines and supplies across Africa in a sustainable way.

She said the project was 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 was said to have been transformed.

The government of Tanzania had reorganised and expanded its distribution system, increasing the availability of medicines in medical clinics by 20 to 30 per cent.

Prior to the training and reorganisation, there were approximately 150 warehouse drop-off points in the country. Now, medicines are distributed directly to more than 5,500 health facilities.

Ms Bawuah said in Ghana, Coca-Cola’s Cooler Technicians work side by side 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 10 African countries over the next five years with Mozambique as the next country to benefit from the initiative.

Source: The Mirrior
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