Challenges Inhibiting Malaria Aid in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
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The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) encompasses 10% of the approximate 407,000 annual malaria-related deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa (WHO, 2017). While this number has not gone unnoticed by the international community, factors such as the lack of infrastructure and socio-economic turmoil impair timely and cost-effective malaria prevention and treatment access. In the DRC, an information gap exists between the existing malaria aid supply chain and an effective decentralized model that takes into account a more thorough view of the factors inhibiting supply chain effectiveness and efficiency (Village Reach, 2015). This gap manifests itself in issues ranging from difficulties in monitoring and transporting malaria commodities to quality assurance of the aforementioned products. The current method of supply chain design relies on imperfect information that does not account for the majority of challenges; not focusing on the holistic spectrum of issues results in a narrow-focused methodology that ultimately hinders effective aid. This research seeks to bridge this gap and improve the current approach by creating a detailed list of factors inhibiting the current success of cost-effective long-term malaria aid in the DRC while focusing on the distribution of effective aid. Employing a qualitative knowledge-based interview with subject matter experts alongside a semantic analysis in conjunction with a literature review, this research brings together the factors and conditions that inhibit, or increase the cost of, malaria prevention and treatment efforts within the DRC in an effort to create a single comprehensive point of reference. This two-pronged approach focuses on the creation of an aggregated analysis encompassing external and internal issues juxtaposed with preventative and treatment measures, investigating six categorical issues known to undermine humanitarian aid efforts: infrastructural aspects, financial aspects, health structure aspects, organizational aspects, political aspects, and socio-economic aspects. The aforementioned multidisciplinary method shifts the argument to then investigate these issues as a product of culture; supply chain has the unique ability to solve these problems by focusing on the timely cost-effective transportation of the necessary products while considering the inner-workings of the nation and cultural idiosyncrasies. The aim of this research is to streamline humanitarian aid by eliminating the iterant data accumulation processes of consulting numerous data sources and replicating existing research in order to factor in most known variables to determine a more holistic view of supply chain improvement in the DRC. The results of the study demonstrate the interrelation between supply chain and non-supply chain issues, providing key insight to malaria aid organizations on the spectrum of challenges effecting the DRC malaria commodity supply chain and assisting in creating a holistic approach to reduce malaria-related mortality.
Gardner, Brittany Taylor (2018). Challenges Inhibiting Malaria Aid in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from