Project Last Mile shares
Project Last Mile is an innovative partnership that is improving the availability of life-saving medicines and demand for health services in hard-to-reach communities across Africa by sharing the expertise and network of
“Almost every person knows the
Through Project Last Mile,
Project Last Mile is a unique partnership between The
Encouraging young people to use health services in eSwatini
In eSwatini Project Last Mile is partnering with the eSwatini Ministry of Health to inspire and educate young girls to make their health – both body and mind – a top priority.
eSwatini has the highest HIV prevalence amongst adults worldwide. In 2017, 27,4% of those between 15- and 49-years-old were living with HIV. In the same year, 15 to 24-year-old women were five times more likely to be living with HIV, compared to men of the same age.
Creating alternative medicine pick-up points for millions of South Africans
Meanwhile, in South Africa, millions of people require routine access to medicines for HIV and other chronic conditions, leading to congested health facilities and negatively impacting quality of care. Other factors which make it difficult for patients to access medicine include the cost of transport and distance of communities from health facilities.
In 2016, Project Last Mile partnered with USAID to support the South African National Department of Health (NDoH) and a number of NGO partners with the aim of improving the distribution and dispensing of medicines through the creation of patient-friendly alternative pick-up points for patients to access chronic medications, in particular ARV treatment. Since 2016, the number of patients enrolled in the program has increased five-fold. More than 2 million patients now receive their medication from 1 050 existing pick up points with 463 more being activated to meet patient needs.
Optimising distribution routes in Mozambique
In Mozambique, where over 70% of the population lives in rural and remote areas, often cut off from essential public infrastructure and health services, Project Last Mile has rolled out programmes to optimise distribution routes for life-saving medicines.
Best practices in logistics are applied, following a similar process to that which
Project Last Mile Mozambique have up until April 2019 successfully visited and mapped the locations of 950 (60%) of the total health facilities across six provinces in Mozambique – Gaza, Inhambane, Tete, Zambezia, Nampula and Sofala. The remaining four provinces will be visited and mapped over the next 12 months.
The programme uses the same mapping approach to develop optimised route-to-market logistics and delivery plans to streamline the governments’ medicine warehouse and delivery system. Improving the distribution and storage of life-saving medicines can have a big impact on improving access to those who need it most.
“When the capabilities and expertise of the private sector are intentionally shared and applied to address key bottlenecks in medicine and health service availability, this can contribute to a significant improvement in the efficiency of public health services. We aim to develop a replicable model that inspires more of these types of partnerships”, says Ristow.