Hubs Into Africa

Hubs Into Africa

Imperial Health Sciences creates a holistic supply chain solution for delivering essential medicines to developing markets. Imperial Health Sciences established the concept of ‘Hubs Into Africa’ in response to a pivotal contract that RTT secured in 2005 with the US-based SCMS (Supply Chain Management Systems) set up by USAID to deliver for PEPFAR, the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief. 


To address the considerable challenges of providing a reliable and sufficient supply of ARVs to remote locations on the continent, Imperial Health Sciences has developed Hubs Into Africa, an innovative and world-leading multi-market warehouse (MMW) pharmaceutical distribution model, resulting in ground-breaking success.

Since commencing our partnership with SCMS, Imperial Health Sciences has built three state-of-the-art, multi-market pharmaceutical warehouses, located in South Africa, in Kenya and in Ghana. These are the Hubs Into Africa from which supply chain routes operate into 26 recipient countries in the regions of West Africa, East Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The hubs are supported by secondary MMWs in Nigeria and Malawi and plans are underway to extend the network even wider.

The Hubs Into Africa effectively address the challenges of variance – the unpredictable chains of events that cause fluctuations in supply and demand. Thanks to the efficiencies of this model, Imperial Health Sciences has been able to ensure delivery on its signature Five Rs of Supply Chain Management: Rapid, Regular, Reliable, Resupply of Real requirements.

With this level of delivery, the benefits increase exponentially. Reliable and timely replenishment of stock ensures more stable consumer consumption, resulting in more accurate demand forecasting and inventory planning. In turn the dependence on emergency air freight is eliminated, making it possible to switch to road and sea transport and saving costs for the client. 


The success of our Hubs Into Africa is the result of two principal differentiators: first, we can warehouse and distribute stock from strategically located MMWs fairly close to points of treatment and, second, we achieve optimum accuracy in forecasting demand by extracting aggregate regional data rather than looking at in-country consumption. With reservoirs of revolving inventory in the right locations and accurate anticipation of demand, Imperial Health Sciences has been able to transform the face of pharmaceutical supply into Africa.

Our Hubs Into Africa offer ISO compliant facilities that meet all the requirements for best practice distribution of pharmaceuticals, including world class cold chain facilities, secure management of hazardous and high value materials, cutting-edge technology systems with advanced track and trace capacity, and regulated waste disposal.

The Hubs Into Africa facilitate investment in local communities through Imperial Health Sciences’ policy of skills training, job creation, outsourcing to local service providers and leveraging opportunities to develop the commercial sustainability of each hub.

Since establishing the Hubs into Africa, Imperial Health Sciences has achieved less than 1% of obsolescence and zero stock-outs for the PEPFAR programme, lead times for delivery of supplies from the manufacturers have been reduced to less than 4 weeks and transport costs have been slashed.  The hubs maintain up to US$15 million of stock on hand, and have achieved an average of 85% savings on transport costs for PEPFAR.

Pooled procurement of stock using accurate data also allows for product discounts and reduces the day-to-day size of the stock pool, with resultant reductions in warehousing and insurance costs. Also, with predictable consumption and pricing in place, financial management of donor funding is streamlined and advanced purchasing at a lower cost is enabled.