Getting vaccines where they need to go, on time and intact, is no simple feat. This is particularly true in the developing world where vaccines face many obstacles such as poorly planned delivery routes, archaic data collecting methods that still rely on pen and paper, a lack of well-trained support staff to manage the supply chain, poor transport and logistics systems, and insufficient cold chain oversight, to name a few. The unfortunate reality is that most vaccine supply chains are ill equipped to manage delivery of these life-saving tools. In fact, a huge amount of vaccines are lost during the journey to patients, translating into millions of lost dollars – and more importantly lost lives.

This week Blueprint International will be curating @Vaccines to discuss how vaccine supply chains and logistics systems work and ways that we can improve them. As a non-profit venture located in the Washington D.C. metro area, with team members and a headquarters also located in Johannesburg, South Africa, Blueprint International’s overall mission is to provide simple technological solutions to address complex social welfare problems. They currently are involved in improving vaccine distribution and logistics through the use of a low-cost novel mobile app technology. Join the discussion this week with the co-founders of Blueprint International including:

Catharine G. Young currently works in the Department of Defense as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow where she interacts on a daily basis with international and governmental agencies such as the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control.  Catharine is also a TED fellow, selected in part due to her work with Blueprint International.

David D. Clark is a Co-founder and Head of Operations for OPSI Systems, a leader in transportation management and supply chain optimization in South Africa. David has extensive experience not only in the development of logistical software, but also has served in a number of impressive leadership roles, such as the Project Management Lead for design and development of green-field Web and Mobile projects.

Colin N. Young is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Colin also serves as a TEDMED Research Scholar and has been recognized for his scientific accomplishments by the National Institute of Health, American Heart Association, and American Physiological Society.