In the remote corners of Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, delivering essential health commodities to the last mile has long been an obstacle. However, with support from USAID and PEPFAR, Project Last Mile is collaborating with Nouvelle Pharmacie de la Santé Publique and Direction de l’Activité Pharmaceutique to make significant strides to overcome these barriers. This partnership, leveraging the logistics expertise of The Coca-Cola System, is transforming health facilities and empowering local healthcare workers to serve their communities better.

At the heart of this initiative is the story of Christiane, a Pharmacy Technician in Agban Village, a small village on the outskirts of Abidjan, the capital of Côte d’Ivoire.  When Christiane started at the local pharmacy in May 2023, she noticed a lack of organization: no stock cards, unorganized shelves, and less than a month’s supply of essential products. With the guidance of Simplice, a coach from Project Last Mile, she reorganized the pharmacy, labeled shelves by program, and developed an Excel sheet to track key indicators.

“This project taught me a lot, and now I can do this on my own,” Christiane says proudly. Her newfound skills, acquired through the coaching program, have not only improved inventory management and reduced stockouts but also inspired her to pursue further education.

The coaching model

On 16 April 2024, the Project Last Mile Côte d’Ivoire Team held a significant event—the first-ever district and health facility graduation ceremony. The graduation ceremony was attended by national, regional, and district officials, along with representatives from health facilities and USAID.

The coaching model implemented by Project Last Mile is a cornerstone of this success. Drawing on the expertise of The Coca-Cola System, the model provides technical assistance and training to indirect health facilities, enhancing their management and distribution capabilities. The goal is to ensure improved access to family planning commodities and other essential health products.

Dr. Ange, who works at the Anti-Tuberculosis Center of Koumassi, also recalls finding her facility in complete disarray upon her arrival. With the support of Coach Eli from Project Last Mile, she reorganized the pharmacy and implemented an Excel tool for inventory management. Within three months, the facility saw significant improvements in inventory management, and Dr. Ange now confidently uses the Excel sheet to maintain stock levels.

Measurable impact

Project Last Mile’s efforts have yielded impressive results. Reporting timeliness improved dramatically, with Koumassi and Treichville achieving 100% reporting by July, up from 58% and 86%, respectively, in January. Of 39 sites, 22 have graduated from the coaching program, consistently meeting their targets for three consecutive months. This success is reflected in the increased stock visibility of 12 commodities related to HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and maternal and child health, reducing average stockouts from 22% to 7%.

The graduation ceremony was a testament to the impact of our project, recognizing the achievements of 27 out of 38 health facilities. These facilities, representing 94 pharmacists and logistics assistants, were acknowledged at the graduation ceremony for their consistent adherence to the inventory and order management criteria on which we provide coaching.

In Treichville Macory, Pharmacy Assistant Pierre Angulaire faced challenges managing pharmaceutical stock with outdated paper-based systems. With assistance from Coach Larissa and the implementation of mSupply, a pharmaceutical supply chain management tool, the facility’s inventory arrangement and order management improved significantly. Order submission rates increased from 55% to 95%, highlighting the positive impact of the coaching and tools provided.

As Project Last Mile prepares to launch its third phase, the focus will expand to additional districts, refining the coaching process and supporting the training of more coaches. The project also aims to develop a toolkit of best practices and case studies from successfully graduated sites, ensuring the sustainability and scalability of this transformative initiative.Through stories like Christiane’s, Dr. Ange’s, and Pierre Angulaire’s, Project Last Mile demonstrates the profound impact of empowering local healthcare workers and improving health systems. By bridging the last mile, they are delivering essential commodities, hope, and a brighter future for communities in Côte d’Ivoire.

This initiative is funded and supported by PEPFAR and USAID. The content and information provided on this website are the responsibility of Project Last Mile and are not official United States government information and do not necessarily represent the views or positions of PEPFAR, USAID, or the United States Government.