Healthcare and Humanitarian Supply Chains in Africa


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Africa has been hit by a combination of natural disasters, such as bushfires, floods, disease outbreaks, epidemics, and droughts, resulting in loss of lives, forced displacement, hunger, and destitution. While the frequency of disasters is on the rise, the concurrence of these disasters with the fragile environmental and sociopolitical context of some African countries makes it more challenging for relief organizations to respond effectively, efficiently, and quickly.  

The outbreak of diseases such as Ebola, Mpox, and COVID-19 has stretched the already under-pressure healthcare systems in some of the least-developed countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. This has eroded the capability of the healthcare systems to deal with infectious diseases such as HIV, which claim millions of lives every year, including young women and children. Thus, provisioning healthcare supplies in Africa requires context-specific solutions that account for the peculiarities of the continent. 

A wide range of challenges remain to be addressed in research and practice, among others: 

  • How can emerging technologies be implemented in healthcare and humanitarian supply chains in Africa? 
  • How can humanitarian and healthcare providers deal with the challenges related to the availability and quality of data in Africa? 
  • How can environmental and social sustainability be incorporated into healthcare and humanitarian supply chains in Africa? 
  • How to improve the coordination and collaboration in health and humanitarian supply chains at organizational, local, national, and international levels? 
  • How can healthcare and humanitarian organizations contribute to long-term local capacity building in Africa? 

Aims and Scope

The special issue aims to explore and showcase cutting-edge research on emerging trends in healthcare and humanitarian supply chains in Africa. It provides an opportunity for innovative and context-specific research that addresses new issues related to healthcare and humanitarian logistics in Africa. The topics covered would include infrastructural challenges, disease outbreaks, technology and data analysis related to emergency response supplies, collaboration and coordination, community engagement, and logistical innovations, as well as security and cultural issues. 

List of Topic Areas

We invite researchers and practitioners to share their insights, findings, and forward-thinking perspectives in our SI. Topics may cover, but are not limited to:  

  • Infrastructural challenges impacting healthcare and humanitarian supply chains in Africa 
  • The impact of the cultural context of Africa on healthcare and humanitarian supply chains 
  • Humanitarian supply chains for climate-related disasters 
  • Supply chain design to better address outbreaks of diseases such as HIV and Ebola 
  • Supply chain resilience in epidemic preparedness 
  • Applications of digital tools and emerging technologies in healthcare and humanitarian supply chains 
  • Crisis mapping for humanitarian response 
  • Social and environmental sustainability in healthcare and humanitarian supply chains 
  • Pharmaceutical waste management in healthcare supply chains 
  • Cash and voucher assistance 
  • Last mile distribution of healthcare and humanitarian aid 
  • Improving supply chain collaboration and coordination 
  • Use of data analytics to improve healthcare and humanitarian supply chains 
  • Addressing security issues in healthcare and humanitarian supply chains 

Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available here.
Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see here.

When submitting papers to the SI, authors should select the special issue “Healthcare and Humanitarian Supply Chains in Africa” in the submission system from the drop-down menu. 

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal. 

AISCR and HHL conferences: The special issue is open to submissions from the public as well as submissions made to African Institute for Supply Chain Research (AISCR) Conference and Health & Humanitarian Logistics (HHL) Conference, both taking place in October 2024 in Kenya. Selected submissions to the conference will be invited to submit to the SI. The invited submissions will be required to be different and improved versions of the conference submission. Manuscripts will go through a double peer review process. 

Key Deadlines

Open date for submissions: 15/03/2024 
Submission deadline: 31/12/2024 
Final acceptance date: 30/09/2025