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How Coca-Cola Is Helping Deliver Medicines

Coca-Cola products reach every corner of the world while essential medicines do not. ColaLife, a UK charity, noticed this and decided to make a change. ColaLife uses Coca-Cola to open up the private sector supply chain to deliver affordable and effective medicines.

ColaLife produced the Kit Yamoyo, an anti-diarrhea kit. Diarrheal diseases cause life-threatening dehydration, which is the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 5 in developing nations. Each year, it takes the lives of 760,000 children, even though it’s curable.

The problem is that these children do not have access to the cure, which is what ColaLife sought to solve. The Kit Yamoyo contains Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS), soap, and zinc, which act as a cure. The package itself acts as a measuring device for water needed to mix up the ORS and zinc, and can also be used as a storage device as well as a cup.

The Kit Yamoyo has a v-shaped cup to easily fit into the Coca-Cola delivery crates. As a compact, low-cost product, the Kit Yamoyo piggybacks Coca-Cola’s supply chain to reach remote areas. It is a symbiotic relationship: Coca-Cola products continue to reach and get sold in remote areas, while the consumers gain access to more medicines than ever before.

The kits themselves are sold with Coca-Cola products. As the kits make their way out to the remote areas, the demand for them becomes greater. It’s a positive situation for everyone involved: Coca-Cola products are sold, the retailer makes a profit, and the consumer gets the medicine they need to help their children.

With enough funding, the Kit Yamoyo will have a big impact. It will widen vaccine coverage in remote areas and reduce death rates caused by dehydration and malnutrition. It will also encourage an increased investment in training and help health workers reduce child mortality rates. ColaLife has proven that the supply chain is just as important as the medicine itself.

Hannah Resnick

Sources: ColaLife, University of Delaware, WHO, Zambia Daily Mail
Photo: Just Giving