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Dec 1, 2015   |   Blog Post

Addressing HIV and Immunization Needs From The Same Truck: A new public-private partnership aims to support HIV treatment at the last mile


Today the world recognizes World Aids Day – a day to unite in the fight against HIV and to support the millions of people around the globe living with HIV.

In conjunction with World Aids Day, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has published a new report – Empty Shelves, Come Back Tomorrow – evaluating the current incidence of HIV for four of the worst HIV-affected countries in sub-Saharan Africa including Mozambique.  In the country, 11% of the adult population is HIV positive, but only 45% of those affected receive the required level of treatment.   As the report notes about Mozambique “… there is no funded regular last mile delivery and stockouts are seen at facility level.”

 “11% of the adult population is HIV positive, but only 45% of those affected receive the required level of treatment… there is no funded regular last mile delivery and stockouts are seen at facility level.”

Leveraging our last mile delivery experience in Mozambique and other countries, VillageReach is seeking to address this problem.  This week, in collaboration with the Tete Provincial Health Services Department, MSF, and commercial transporters, VillageReach launched a new public-private initiative to improve the availability of medical commodities at the last mile.  This partnership in northern Mozambique’s Tete Province, which has additional support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Vitol Foundation, is an extension and enhancement of the Dedicated Logistics System for vaccine delivery which operates in four other provinces.  In Tete, we’re delivering both antiretroviral (ARV) drugs and vaccines in the same delivery using commercial transporters to plan the routes to health centers, deliver the commodities, and record the inventories.

HIV ARVs and vaccines deliveries

By integrating the delivery of HIV products and immunizations using commercial transporters, this initiative leverages VillageReach’s experience in last mile supply chain with the technical and financial resources of the private sector to meet the needs of remote and hard to reach communities.

Before the trucks headed out on distributions, VillageReach provided the transporters with essential training on proper loading, unloading, data recording and reporting of the inventories.  Routes were set, drivers were instructed when to call in their locations, and we followed the teams to document the initial  deliveries.

Training1 last mile delivery training

These first deliveries have been a year in the making— from evaluating the Ministry of Health’s transport needs and resources, to cultivating the coalition of partners, to developing a practical approach that meets the needs of the communities and incentivizes the private sector.

On-The-Road-1 Last-Minute-Instructions---Alvaro

In the coming months we will evaluate the initiative and publish the results  as evidence for the viability of this model to improve last mile distribution.  Stay tuned for the results!

MSF press release: “HIV: Antiretroviral drugs fail to consistently reach patients in countries most affected by HIV/AIDS”

MSF report:   Empty Shelves, Come BackTomorrow

VillageReach Report: Evaluation of Health System Transport Capacity and Demand – Mozambique Case Study.

John Beale
Director & Group Lead, Private Sector Engagement

Alvaro Lopes
National Supply Chain Officer – Mozambique

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