Living Goods: Delivering Quality Healthcare and Empowering Women in Uganda

Living Goods: Delivering Quality Healthcare and Empowering Women in Uganda
Case Code: LDEN183
Case Length: 17 Pages
Period: 2007 - 2020
Pub Date: 2022
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization : Living Goods
Industry :Pharmaceuticals & Biotech
Countries : Uganda
Themes: Social Entrepreneurship, Community Involvement
Living Goods: Delivering Quality Healthcare and Empowering Women in Uganda
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


Essential healthcare is not available to half of the people in the world, according to the World Health Organization. Most of these people are in underdeveloped and developing countries, where there is an acute lack of health workers, medicines, and funds. The problem is more pronounced in Africa, where there are only 2.3 health workers for every 1,000 people. While Africa accounts for 24% of the global disease burden, there are only 3% of the world’s health workers in the continent. These are the issues that drew the attention of Chuck Slaughter (Slaughter), a Yale alumnus. Slaughter, who worked for an organization involved in providing essential medicines in the developing countries, saw with anguish how the lack of healthcare facilities in Africa was resulting in high mortality, especially among children. And he realized that the amount spent on a cup of coffee could save a child’s life.

Further research showed Slaughter that often, though the medicines were available, they were not reaching the needy due to challenges in last mile distribution. To address this issue, he started Living Goods, a social enterprise with exclusive focus on healthcare in Uganda in 2007. Slaughter was inspired by the business model of cosmetics company Avon and he started distributing medicines in the hinterlands in the country through a team of community health entrepreneurs (CHEs). Slaughter brought in several improvements in the supply chain and technology to deliver high quality medicines at a price that was lower than the Price prevailing in shops to the doorstep of the patients. To make the essential medicines more affordable, he included other products like stoves, solar lamps, soaps, shampoos, etc. and cross-subsidized the essential products. This benefited the consumers, as they could get the medicines without having to spend time and money on traveling to the nearest health center. Where the CHEs were concerned, selling the medicines and other products earned them extra money. By 2019, Living Good was active in three countries and had 10,628 CHEs. Impact studies that were conducted revealed that in the areas where Living Goods was active, the child mortality had come down by 27%; the price of anti-malarial drugs fell by 18%; and the spread of spurious drugs reduced. All this was done at an average cost of around US$ 2 per person per year.

Slaughter was looking at replicating the model and scaling it to improve the health of over 34 million people across the world by 2021. This called for building supply chains, developing a huge network of CHEs, and getting help from funding agencies and the support of local NGOs, especially in countries where Living Goods has little or no presence.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Analyze the role of a social entrepreneur in improving the delivery of public services in the developing countries through innovative business models.
  • Understand the dilemmas of a social entrepreneur about scaling-up successful social ventures that have improved the economic and social conditions of the population in transition societies.
  • Study the challenges in fulfilling the last mile distribution of essential goods and services in the developing world .



Living Goods, Healthcare in Africa, Disease Burden, Avon Model, Medicine Supply Chain, last mile distribution, social enterprise, social entrepreneur, sustainability spectrum, Social Enterprise Accelerator Model, Sustainable Development Goals

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