Raspberry Pi and Sensor Networking for African Health Supply Chains

Anna-Mara Sch?n
University of Applied Sciences Fulda, Germany

Liliane Streit-Juotsa
University of Applied Sciences Fulda, Germany

Many medicines in Sub-Saharan Africa lose their effectiveness along the supply chain. Some of the reasons are poor information flows, lack of temperature control systems as well as missing standardized processes including the measurement through performance indicators. Studies from the World Health Organization – executed in 70 countries – report that only 29% of these countries meet the minimum recommended standards for temperature control and levels. In order to meet these challenges, efficient and effective ways need to be found. Frequent power outages, low level of education of personnel and a high rate of warehouses without any IT-infrastructure need to be taken into account. This paper focuses on the usage of Raspberry Pis and Arduino (small, simple and low priced computers) in combination with sensor networking. An in-depth literature analysis as well as an on-location inspection in Cameroon helped to detect the challenges African health supply chain managers face. The study of the possibilities of a Raspberry Pi in combination with Arduino and sensor networking is currently conducted in order to see if these hardware components could help to improve the cold chain challenges of high priced medicines (e.g. vaccines) in developing countries, e.g. in Sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of our research is to identify a fast, low-cost temperature control system in warehouses in developing countries and health supply chains which is easy to implement, to use, to maintain and works effectively (e.g. fast and reliable).

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