A logistics approach to malaria in AfricaPosted: December 12, 2011
Min has developed a comprehensive supply chain map that reveals the labyrinths of African logistics infrastructure, distribution channels, government regulations and business customs. This map could help improve access to anti-malarial drugs as well as avoiding disruption to the drug supply chain. He points out that there are countless challenges posed by trade and regulatory barriers across Africa. Communication difficulties, seasonal variations in logistics infrastructure and a high rate of theft and damage during storage and transit also potentially overwhelm any company hoping to distribute anti-malarial drugs in the African market. He suggests that outsourcing of logistics functions to control such risks and costs might be the only solution.
Moreover, African legal and ethical codes have many “subtleties” he says, so it is potentially beneficial to find local partners that can assist with such subtleties. In addition, the chronically poor roads suggest that local transport options, such as donkey carts and bicycles should also be considered as viable modes of distribution rather than a company expecting to transport antimalarials to rural areas in trucks.