Supply chain logistics in Africa slowing malaria fight

A recent study created a supply chain logistics map to aid in the treatment of malaria cases in Africa.

The study, published in the International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, concluded that the existence of an existing archaic logistics structure, inefficient distribution channels, and a disruptive and thriving black market across much of the continent need to be addressed in order to cope with the disease, according to

Hokey Min, a professor the College of Business Administration at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, used the map to examine distribution channels, government regulations and business customs across Africa. Min believes his work could help improve access to anti-malarial drugs and avoid disruptions in their steady supply.

Outsourcing logistical functions, Min said, could help companies deal with difficulties associated with working in Africa. Communications problems, seasonal variations in transportation routes, and a high-rate of theft and damage during storage and transit often plague those attempting to distribute anti-malarial drugs, reports.

Local partners could be utilized to facilitate an understanding of the myriad of legal and ethical codes that exist in different regions. An intimate knowledge of local road systems and the use of other transport options besides trucks could help companies penetrate farther into rural areas.

“Supply chain efficiency for distribution of anti-malarial drugs is a matter of life and death to many malaria-endemic countries in Africa,” Min said, reports.