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Outsourcing Transport to Improve Health at the Last Mile: A Case Study

December 15, 2016

This case study summarizes the finding from an assessment of the Transport Services Solution (TSS) in Tete province, Mozambique. The case study looks at the specific opportunity for outsourcing and the process that was undertaken to establish this outsourced system. Finally, the case study outlines next steps and considerations for government authorities interested in outsourcing as a way to improve transport for vaccines and other essential medicines.

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Combining Sectors, Partners and Products for Last Mile Impact

Collaboration is at the heart of a unique public-private initiative to increase availability for a range of health products in Mozambique. Tete provincial health authorities, Médecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), and VillageReach have partnered with the private sector company Confianca Absoluta to bring HIV medicines, vaccines and medical kits to rural health clinics. A new case study looks at the first six months of this initiative. It outlines the details of the partnership, benefits to date including increased availability and efficiency, and considerations for governments interested in outsourcing as a way to improve transport for essential medicines.

The Transport Services Solution, or TSS, was built on the foundation of a strong partnership. From the outset, a common agenda was set with clear roles and responsibilities assigned. Each partner fills a specific need within the project, but works collectively to continuously improve the distribution system.

Many outsourcing projects involve large multinational companies, which can offer less perceived risk – but in this case, a local distributor was purposefully chosen. This decision adds value back to the community, according to Tinne Gils, the Regional Pharmacist from MSF: “The successful implementation working with a local distributor means that in addition to increasing medicine…

Outsourcing Transport and Logistics in Global Health

Reposted from Next Billion
Vehicle graveyards are an all-too-common sight for those of us who work in global health. These long-forgotten vehicles serve as reminders to the underlying obstacles faced by transport systems throughout Africa. Routine maintenance required to keep cars, trucks and motorcycles moving simply does not happen, shortening the lifespan of the vehicles that are essential to delivering health commodities to the most remote communities.
For the donor community, these vehicle graveyards are a reminder of the weak return on investment for these expensive, short-lived machines. Many institutions are declining to fund the capital expenditure required to purchase vehicles, parts or storage facilities. Insufficient capital is just one of the contributing factors limiting the transport capacity of a health system.

Therefore, governments and donors alike are identifying new ways to improve health supply chains and the transport systems they rely on.
In a previous post, I laid out the benefits and risks of private-sector involvement in health transport networks. Outsourcing transport and logistics can provide a lower cost of service, utilizing the core expertise of for-profit ventures. These companies must continually improve the quality of their service to attract and retain customers…

Looking to the Sky for Answers: Understanding the Cost of UAVs at the Last Mile

BLOG: Last week, the first field tests of UAV prototypes for HIV test transport were conducted in Malawi. VillageReach is conducting a study to explore how much it would cost for these drones to transport the samples and results needed for early infant diagnosis.

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…

Moving Health Commodities in Africa: Private sector transport for public health systems

August 4, 2014
The Next Billion

By John Beale. VillageReach recently completed this assessment of the Mozambique Ministry of Health’s (MISAU) transport fleets and logistics practices to identify key opportunities for improvement. The assessment also considered the unique business environment and practices of commercial transport operators to determine if MISAU’s freight transport and distribution requirements could be outsourced to the private sector. The research coincides with the ministry’s investigation of outsourcing its transport in order to improve operating efficiency, access higher-quality resources and vehicles, gain access to innovations developed in the private sector, and free up internal resources to address core health systems functions. The author is VillageReach’s director of strategic development and head of private sector engagement.

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