Innovative Packaging for Last Mile Medical Supply Delivery

HealthcareSupply chain managementLogisticsSustainability

International Rescue Committee


The Last Mile: More Than Just a Journey

You've heard of the last mile in logistics, right? That final stretch where your Amazon package makes its way to your doorstep. But what if that package was a lifesaving medicine? And what if that doorstep was in Sierra Leone?

The Real Deal with Sierra Leone's Medical Deliveries

In Sierra Leone, the last mile isn't just a logistical challenge; it's a matter of life and death. Ground teams report that medicines and essential supplies often arrive damaged, have exceeded safe temperature ranges, or don't arrive at all. Imagine waiting for a critical drug, only to find it's been ruined by poor temperature management or rough handling. Not the kind of surprise you'd want.

The International Rescue Committee to the Rescue!

Enter the International Rescue Committee (IRC). They've been around for over 90 years, doing the good work of humanitarian efforts globally. From ensuring clean water access to delivering lifesaving medicines, they've seen it all. And now, they're on a mission to improve the last mile medicine delivery in Sierra Leone.

What's in it for You?

Well, besides the warm fuzzy feeling of making a difference, there's a cool US$25,000 up for grabs. Yep, you read that right. The IRC is looking for innovative solutions to improve last mile medicine delivery. Whether it's a novel idea, an adaptation of existing technology, or a commercially available solution, they want to hear from you.

The Nitty-Gritty of the Challenge

The IRC isn't just looking for any solution. They've got a wishlist:

  • Trackability: Know where the supplies are, in real-time or at least at the start and end of their journey.
  • Resistance: The packaging should protect its contents from tampering, shock, rain, dust, and extreme temperatures.
  • Reuse: Because sustainability matters, the packaging should be reusable for more than one distribution cycle.
  • Affordability: The cost should be no more than US$1,480 per year per solution, including its tracking functionality.

Why Should You Care?

Because this isn't just about Sierra Leone. The solutions found here could shape policy and practice worldwide. The IRC's Airbel Impact Lab is all about finding and scaling breakthrough solutions, not just for local contexts but globally.

A Little More About the IRC

The International Rescue Committee isn't just another NGO. They operate in over 40 countries and 20 US cities, helping those affected by humanitarian crises. Their Airbel Impact Lab is at the forefront of innovation, aiming to find solutions that can make a real difference.

In Conclusion

The last mile might be the final stretch, but it's often the most crucial. With the right solution, we can ensure that medicines and essential supplies reach those who need them most, in perfect condition. So, if you've got an idea, now's the time to share it. Who knows? You might just change the world.

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