Where All Routes Lead To Good Health
Forbes Africa|August - September 2020
Where All Routes Lead To Good Health
Through the Project Last Mile partnership, Coca-Cola works with African governments to leverage its extensive distribution network to deliver health commodities and life-saving medication to the continent’s remotest regions.
Tiana Cline

ACROSS AFRICA, GOVERNMENTS AND DONORS are investing billions of dollars to strengthen health systems and make affordable medicines available. However, government supply chains often struggle to get medicines and supplies to the health facilities and people who need them most. Project Last Mile was created in 2010 to leverage and share core private sector expertise to improve health systems across Africa in a sustainable way.

In Africa, a Coca-Cola product is available almost everywhere on the continent, yet, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 50% of people lack access to life-saving medicines.

So when big names, ideas and purpose meet, life-changing initiatives result, and Project Last Mile is one such initiative.

“Project Last Mile is a unique blend of incredible partners. Our donor partners are The Global Fund, The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), PEPFAR and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Foundation, local implementing partners and health ministries,” explains Adrian Ristow, Project Last Mile’s Director.

To do this, Project Last Mile leverages the logistical, supply chain and marketing expertise of the Coca-Cola system to improve the reach and uptake of life-saving medicines, including HIV medicines, and health services in Africa. By transferring the skills and knowledge from the Coca-Cola network to the health ministry partners and customizing solutions, Project Last Mile has, over the last 10 years, completed interventions in 10 different countries. They currently have active programs in the Kingdom of eSwatini, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Lesotho.

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August - September 2020