Utawaleza - Rainbow Transport
Jonas Oddur Jonasson of MIT Sloan School of Management in the U.S. and collaborators will develop a more cost-effective method for transporting clinical samples between health centers and diagnostic laboratories in low-resource settings. In most countries in Southern Africa, sample transport is uncoordinated and leads to regular unnecessary trips, resulting in higher costs and long delays in disease diagnosis. They will develop an algorithm that uses the numbers and locations of samples needing to be transported each day to design optimal courier routes, and test its effect on cost and turnaround times using historical data in Malawi. They will also evaluate hardware devices for health workers to communicate collection requests to sample transport operators. They will run a pilot test of their system in Malawi to evaluate usability and the value of optimizing transport routes.