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Improving the availability of essential medicines,
when and where they are needed.

Project Zambezi 

Project Zambezi is the flagship project for Castlepines Medical Foundation designed to address NCD medicine supply challenges in Zimbabwe in the short and long-term.

The Problem

The Access to Medicine Foundation estimates that around 2 billion people worldwide lack access to essential medicines. In many African countries, where access to affordable, high-quality medicines remains out-of-reach, the cost of distributing medicines to health facilities and healthcare workers in rural areas is 2-3 times higher than in high-income countries. These barriers to accessing medicines at the nearest health facility force patients to travel further and buy their medicines out-of-pocket, increasing the risk of catastrophic health expenditures. Many times, patients suffer from treatable conditions and delays to treatment are even more detrimental for those suffering from chronic illnesses and non-communicable diseases. There is an urgent need in countries with such fragile medical supply chain systems, to (re)design a medicines distribution system that works for the neediest.


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Mbuya’s story


Mbuya Chidavanhu, a 68-year-old grandmother living in the rural areas of Zimbabwe, walked 10 kilometres to her local health clinic to pick up Candura (Doxazosin) tablets for her hypertension.

The clinic is out of stock of Candura. The next delivery is in 4 months. The nearest clinic that might have Candura is another 10km away. A 20km walk in total is too much for Mbuya, but the bus costs US$10 there and back. Mbuya’s medicines cost US$5.

Mbuya could go to a private pharmacy, but they will charge her US$30.

Mbuya goes back home. Without any medicine.

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