1 Out of 10


ColaLife: Simon Berry is trying to make medicine as ubiquitous as Coca-Cola in rural Africa. – Slate Magazine.

One out of every 10 children here don’t live to see their 5th birthday.  10% of Zambian children, Malawian children, sub-Saharan African children – and after respiratory diseases

 the second biggest killer was dehydration—from diarrhea—which can be stopped with oral rehydration salts (ORS) and zinc.

So an enterprising young man has made it his mission to change those numbers.  Simon Berry realized that

I was working in a remote part of Zambia and I could always get a Coca-Cola.

So he asked mothers what kind of kit they could use to help their sick children.

We went out and asked people what their problems were in treating diarrhea. I don’t think anyone had ever done that before; the kits are designed not for poor people, but with them. 

The original idea was to deliver the kits inside the crates of CocaCola, but that has changed.

In the end, hardly any of our kits have been put into crates. Instead, what has worked is copying Coca-Cola’s business techniques: create a desirable product, market it like mad, and put the product in a distribution system at a price so that everyone can make a profit. If there is demand and retailers can make a profit, then they will do anything to meet that demand.

Now the company is branching out.

You could imagine a “tough toddlers kit” containing vitamins, nutritional supplements and deworming tablets. A parent could buy it for their child’s third birthday.

Improving children’s health, one entrepreneur at a time.


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