Colalife, and a private sector solution for under 5 mortality


One of the largest causes of under-5 mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa is diarrhoea. Easily preventable, if you have the right medicine - ORS and Zinc. Yet somehow, these essential, over the counter medicines were failing to reach those who needed them most. 

Meanwhile, Simon and Jane Berry found that Coca-Cola, of all things, was getting through. Stocked by small retailers in the slums, the private supply chain was somehow able to find a way to constantly resupply these goods, in a way that the public sector was unable to do for essential medicines.

Colalife, Simon and Jane's organisation, found a way to mimic the private sector supply solution to ensure a new opportunity for co-packaged ORS and Zinc. By creating a new private market, finding a manufacturer, distributor and sales agents that sell to micro-retailers in the slum, they have created a complete, sustainable market that stands on its own - irrespective of public sector inefficiency. Supply is steady due to small profits being made at each stage of the supply chain. The product was developed using human centred design methods, and simultaneously teaches mothers how to dispense the medicine correctly, gives them the tools to dispense, and comes in an attractive package that gets their attention. 

Treating an essential medicine like a private sector product has already (according to some estimates) saved 600 children's lives.


Scaling Strategy, Brand Strategy, Storytelling

Lotta H.Comment