Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR Partner: Living Goods

Delivering life-changing products to the doorsteps of the poor

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In Africa, millions of people die of easily preventable diseases because they lack access to health information and affordable medicines. Cisco support helps Living Goods deliver health-improving products directly to those who need them, while giving the agents who sell them opportunities to earn an income and become financially self-sufficient.

Who: Motivated women promote health among their neighbors

In Africa, there are just 2.3 healthcare workers per 1000 population. Treatment for life-threatening illness is free, but only 49% of the population lives close enough to a hospital to receive it. One in 8 children die before age 5. Living Goods empowers a network of Community Health Workers to provide preventive health information and deliver low-cost health, safety, and hygiene products to people in their communities.

  • The mostly female agents sell deworming and malaria medicine, fortified foods and other products that help improve general and maternal health and combat infant mortality.
  • Agents receive health education training and a “business in a bag” – a uniform and business tools – and access to reduced-cost products to sell.
  • It’s an opportunity for women to earn an income and realize financial security.
  • 4000 agents serving 3 million people in Uganda and Kenya.

How: Mobile technology helps magnify impact

Cisco’s support for Living Goods began in 2012, when we provided a cash grant investment to help develop a mobile technology platform that is now the cornerstone of its program. The tool has improved marketing and sales efforts, client follow-up, and workforce management.  

  • Agents use SMS to register every pregnant women and newborn child in the community. Follow-up text messages promote healthy pregnancies, safe deliveries, and newborn care.
  • Agents can remind customers to administer follow-up rounds of malaria, diarrhea, or respiratory infection medications.
  • Agents message customers directly about product and health tips and upcoming sales promotions.  

Impact Multiplied

Positive outcomes of the project include:

  • 25% drop in mortality among children under age 5, compared to children who do not have access to Living Goods agents.
  • 300% increase in sales of clean cook stoves after a mobile promotion.
  • 50% lower likelihood of pharmacies having counterfeit medicines in regions where Living Goods operates.
  • 675,000+ children treated with affordable and accessible health products.

“This is what I have always wanted, to work in my community and help them with their health. I thank God that what I always wanted is now here.” Nanyanzi Harriet, Living Goods agent in Kampala, Uganda

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