Urgent shortages of medicines in low-income countries lead to millions of unnecessary deaths at birth every year. One pervasive challenge causing such shortages is how to move the right commodities to the right place on time and at cost. We propose to develop an open-source distribution management system which leverages our existing real-time dataset of stock transactions at thousands of facilities in Africa to drive automated improvements in practice. Specifically, we will make optimal usage of limited resources to improve route planning and scheduling, respond to delivery or cold chain failures, strengthen communication, and reduce inappropriate resource utilization. These tools could save governments hundreds of thousands in the cost of fuel, trucks, drivers, and wasted/lost stock, while also improving reliable access to better quality, life-saving commodities.
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