As announced previously we are going to focus on Zambia initially for a trial of the ColaLife concept. Since we made this decision our communications with potential stakeholders have become much more meaningful – can you meet? – could you attend a workshop? – who else should we be talking to? And so on.
It is very reassuring that we have had a universal positive response to our visit plan and named individuals in the following organisations are now engaged:
Ministry of Health (website temporarily unavailable)
CHAZ (Churches Health Association of Zambia)
JSI / USAID in Zambia
MSL (Medical Stores Limited), Zambia
UKAID (The UK’s Department for International Development, Zambia)
ColaLife has also been brought to the attention of the Essential Drugs Logistics Programme’s Steering Committee
Jane and I will be in Zambia from 11-25 October and the outline plan is to spend the first week meeting as many of these people face to face and gathering further insights into the way things now work in Zambia (we were last there 22 years ago!). Then, we are going to try and bring as many people as possible together in week 2 to start to talk about the scope and scale of a future, independently evaluated trial. Hopefully, we will also make a start on an outline design for the trial. We then expect to be able to continue the co-design work virtually via email with perhaps a follow-up face to face meeting in December to tie things up. We will then take this fully costed plan, developed jointly with all the key stakeholders, to the Gates or Clinton Foundation and Coca-Cola for support.
When it comes to a trial, a key stakeholder will be SABMiller, the Coca-Cola bottler in Zambia. We have established contact with SABMiller in Zambia and the UK and we are hopeful of a positive outcome. I will keep you posted on developments.
We are very grateful to old Zambian friends who are providing us with free accommodation and a car for the duration of our trip (you know who you are!).