Congratulations to ColaLife, who have just win the prestigious Product of the Year Award from the Design Museum in London. It’s for their Kit Yamoyo, an anti-diarrhoea kit which is sold in Zambia in an ingenious distribution network that piggy-backs on Coca Cola. Coke gets everywhere, even the remotest villages. If they can get their fizzy drinks there, why can’t you get essential medicines in equally remote places?
As I’ve written about before, the founders of ColaLife had the idea of making a pack that would medicines that could slot between the bottles in a crate of Coke. It wouldn’t be in the way, and could just be removed at the depot when it reached its final destination. After trialling and several different design iterations, it’s now in use in Zambia. Parents can buy oral rehydration salts, and use the packaging to measure the right amount of water to add to them. It’s addressing an unglamorous but vital issue – diarrhoea kills 2,000 under-fives in Africa every day.
Competition at the awards was stiff. Among other things, ColaLife were up against the Olympic cauldron, a pair of Nike trainers, a 3D printer, a non-stick ketchup bottle and erm, wooden toy versions of container ships that cost £99 each. If the award was given for actual usefulness to real people, then the Kit Yamoyo is a worthy winner.