On Christmas day in 2012, a four-month-old girl in Nairobi Hospital’s intensive care unit received a desperately needed dose of the antiretroviral medication Kaletra, despite the fact that the hospital was out of stock. From her doctor’s hands to her parents’ hands was the “last mile” of a long and sometimes convoluted system that delivers much-needed medical supplies to patients all over the world.
An efficient supply chain is essential to patient care. Far more than a pharmaceutical company, a hospital, and a patient, health supply chains bring crucial medical supplies to millions worldwide and involve a diverse range of stakeholders, including local and international suppliers, transporters, warehouses, and quality control checkpoints, to name a few. The keys to a system that works efficiently are coordination and quality control.
Delivering life-saving medicine at the right moment also takes speed.
In Kenya, Chemonics and USAID have partnered with the Kenyan government through the Kenya Pharma project to create a pharmaceutical supply chain that delivers medicines and supplies to help people fight HIV and AIDS. Serving more than 1 million people, the project’s motto is, “Our work adds days to lives, and life to days.”