Last Mile Challenges

Welcome to the Last Mile

boysIn the past 40 years, more than $3.4 trillion has been spent to address the critical diseases and poverty of developing nations. In the early 1970s, immunization programs increased vaccination rates in low-income nations from as low as 5% to as high as 70%.

But these averages disguise major disparities. Countries with limited infrastructure saw vaccine coverage peak and then decline as these programs concluded.

The problem is global:

Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for a disproportionate share of the worldwide deaths for vaccine-preventable diseases. These diseases continue to kill 2.4 million children annually and leave millions more permanently impaired. For remote communities in Africa and worldwide, the limited supporting infrastructure results in a lack of confidence and use of government healthcare.

The Innovation Pile-up

While many low-income countries currently lack the capacity to distribute existing medical supplies, the challenge will only become greater as new, larger-dose vaccines arrive, to combat malaria and HIV/AIDs.

Transportation and cold chain costs for these vaccines will increase, placing greater burden on the health sector. Without addressing the distribution capabilities for health systems, the world risks an innovation pile-up where the intended value of the billions being spent on research and development may not be realized.