Drawing Lessons from Business for Healthcare Delivery in Kenya

The Kenya subsidiary of Total, a French-based multinational energy company, encompassed both refining and marketing , with over 100 service stations, oil and liquefied petroleum gas depots, and a lubricant plant in Mombasa.

Total Kenya approached GlobalHealth Lab in 2009 in order to help the company leverage its assets, capacity, and operational expertise to improve healthcare delivery in the country at large. An MIT student team began by researching countrywide healthcare needs and logistical challenges and then went on to study Total Kenya’s day-to-day operational processes, pressures, and strategies through extensive interviews and observations. Over the course of the project, the team developed a report highlighting insights and ideas for improving the distribution of and access to health supplies and health care services through the adoption of rotational staffing practices, the decentralization of the national medical supply chain, a switch from a push to a pull distribution system, and creating incentives for deeper public-private partnerships. A year later, impact was minimal: we learned that the student ideas were most applicable for the national Ministry of Health, but the GlobalHealth Lab partner, Total Kenya, had little involvement in this domain.


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