Shop in just about any rural village anywhere in the developing world and chances are you’ll find Coca-Cola, chips or even cell phone cards for sale. And yet this miracle of globalization has a glaring gap: in that same village, life-saving medicines are likely not available at any price.
The reason? Essential drugs to treat such curable diseases as tuberculosis, yellow fever and malaria require refrigeration. The difference of just a few degrees can render an expensive drug unusable. In much of the world, reliable, affordable electricity is not available for the most basic need of keeping medicines consistently cool.