Medicine remains difficult to obtain in remote villages in sub-Saharan Africa. Consequently, 15% of the mortality in this area for children under 5 years old is attributed to dehydration from diarrhoea, an easily treatable illness. In some regions, mothers might journey three to four hours to obtain medicine from a health clinic that might be out of stock.
But … the big question is: How do you get the medicines at the right spot and in a continuous flow in these faraway and remote rural areas, as the supply chain is a headache.
Except that Coca-Cola is virtually everywhere. You can find bottles of Coke anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa, and in the same places where children are dying.
ColaLife came up with a brilliant idea: Hitchhiking or piggybacking, whatever you want to call it, off the Coke supply chain, in other words using Coke’s omnipresence to bring people lifesaving anti-diarrhoeal medicine. Of course this requires a special designed packaging. And that’s what they created.
ColaLife, an independent non-profit UK-based agency with the idea to leverage the vast Coca-Cola supple chain network, collaborated with pi 3, the structural design and engineering branch of London-based Pi Global Partners Ltd., Amcor Flexibles and thermoformed packaging designer Charpak Ltd. in Huntingdon, England to developed a structural, self-contained packaging for an anti-diarrhoeal kit to nestle into the unused space surrounding crated Coca-Cola bottles.
When Coca-Cola is deliveres to a store, the AidPod, as the new packaging is called, rides along with it. The medicine is sold for USD 1.00, a price mothers in Zambia say is affordable, according to ColaLife.
The AidPod is at the heart of the ColaLife model. It is a wedge-shaped, structural, self-contained packaging for an anti-diarrheal kit, designed to nestle into unused space between bottle necks in a crate of Coke.
The AidPod contains several doses of anti-diarrhoeal medicine packaged in single-dose sachets, zinc supplements and a pamphlet with educational material. It also contains a soap packet in the reusable lid of the container to promote hand washing. The container itself is also a functional 200-milliliter measuring jug that can be used to mix the medicine with water and act as a clean, reusable drinking cup.
The recycled PET package is heat-sealed with a waterproof film that can withstand severe impacts, is tamper-evident and prevents contamination.
The organisation is running trials with the AidPod in Zambia.
May 16, in Wilmington, Delaware DuPont celebrated the silver anniversary of its global packaging awards program last night, granting top honours to the AidPod.
This unique packaging and distribution program captured the premier Diamond and the Special 25th Anniversary ‘Food Security’ award.
It is a brilliant idea and a prime example for non-profit organisations to deliver life-saving products to rural communities.