Prashant Yadav saves lives with improved supply chains

Does wealth improve life expectancy? Not by definition, explains Prashant Yadav, professor of supply chain management and advocate for the MIT-Zaragossa International Logistics Program, at the Sustainable Supply Chains conference on 2nd June in Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, a TruEconomy Consulting and Supply Chain Magazine event.

 Child immortality in the middle classes in India for example, is seven times that of the poorest people of Vietnam. According to Yadav, this high mortality rate in India is mainly due to ineffective supply chains. He referred mainly to the availability and accessibility of medication and health centres, which has a lot to be desired in third-world countries, often due to geographical factors. Vaccinating people on small islands or in the far-flung areas of third-world countries still proves difficult.

 Out of stock
Moreover, the stocks of medicines and mosquito nets for example, are almost non-existent in developing countries because they are often only produced after an order has been placed. This is due to the varying requirements different countries have for this kind of product. Not to mention the problem of aid money. Often designated for this particular purpose, it is not always available at the right time. According to the professor, it’s a timing issue.

However, a new financial mechanism has been introduced: the Pledge Guarantee for Health (PGH). The United Nations Foundation launched the PGH at the end of last year. This new system ensures that the supplier or manufacturer always gets paid. On top of this, health commodity supply hubs have been introduced to help reduce the lead times on medicines and similar products. There are already three in Africa. Yadav is sure that a ‘clinical trial’ is an effective way of convincing health ministers to look for the best way to structure their supply chains to help create an effective supply chain for health and happiness. One success story is Zambia.