Optimizing vaccine distribution networks in low and middle-income countries

07/25/2019
by   Yuwen Yang, et al.
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Vaccination has been proven to be the most effective method to prevent infectious diseases. However, there are still millions of children in low and middle-income countries who are not covered by routine vaccines and remain at risk. The World Health Organization's Expanded Programme on Immunization (WHO-EPI) was designed to provide universal childhood vaccine access for children across the world and in this work, we address the design of the distribution network for WHO-EPI vaccines. In particular, we formulate the network design problem as a mixed integer program (MIP) and present a new algorithm for typical problems that are too large to be solved using commercial MIP software. We test the algorithm using data derived from four different countries in sub-Saharan Africa and show that the algorithm is able to obtain high-quality solutions for even the largest problems within a few minutes.

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