Healthcare commodities for emergencies in Africa: review of logistics models, suggested model and research agenda
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© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.
Purpose: Enormous numbers of people suffer from the effects of disasters and humanitarian crises in Africa, including medical and healthcare emergencies. International response to the 2014–2016 Ebola pandemic in West Africa and COVID 19 pandemic vividly demonstrates the need for efficient and effective logistics and supply chain systems in bringing succor to impacted and vulnerable communities. This paper critically reviews the academic literature on logistics models for sourcing, delivery and distribution of medical and healthcare products for humanitarian emergencies in Africa from 1990 to 2018. The paper suggests areas for further research and proposes an effective logistics model useful for international and national humanitarian organizations as well as public health authorities in Africa and developing areas.
Design/methodology/approach: The viewpoint paper draws upon a structured comprehensive and critical review of the academic literature on logistics and supply chain management and a qualitative analysis of the literature in 13 leading academic databases covering over 5,550 articles.
Findings: The paper finds significant gaps in the body of logistics and supply chain management research on practical deployable logistics models for sourcing, delivery, and distribution of medical and healthcare products for humanitarian emergencies. The paper suggests a model worthy of consideration by humanitarian and disaster response stakeholders as well as public health authorities in developing countries.
Research limitations/implications: This is a critical literature review paper based on a comprehensive literature research and analysis for the period from 1990 to 2018 from which a viewpoint is formed.
Social implications: This paper advocates for further research on appropriate models of logistics for the sourcing, delivery and distribution of medical and healthcare products to enhance the basic human rights and dignity of vulnerable people in developing countries.
Originality/value: The paper contributes directly to policy on logistics, humanitarian aid, disaster management, public health and health security policy in the developing world including Africa.
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