Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey


Healthcare access in developing countries is a severe problem due to insufficient healthcare providers and non-existent supply chain infrastructure. This problem is particularly evident in South Africa due to the disparity between urban and rural regions along with an overcrowded public healthcare system. The result is that patients in rural regions who live many kilometers away from their nearest healthcare facility are unable to access essential medicines. This paper seeks to investigate the medical last-mile challenge in South Africa as well as test the viability of a potential solution. Mobility is a platform that seeks to mobilize the large population of unemployed youth in South Africa to complete deliveries of chronic medicines from pharmacies to individual households. It seeks to do this through the facilitation of loans that are repaid gradually through service-based contracts. By speaking with numerous stakeholders within the South African medical supply chain including pharmaceutical companies, healthcare providers, government officials along with potential partners, we sought out to determine the potential for Mobility to revolutionize healthcare access in South Africa. Stakeholder analysis proved the validity of Mobility as a concept and clarified the specific value propositions for pharmaceutical companies, healthcare providers, the government as well as patients. In addition, key next steps were identified in order to implement Mobility in South Africa.


last mile, healthcare access, microfinance, South Africa, global health



Date Posted: 23 June 2020


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.