Donor support and new partners like Johnson & Johnson will help expand and enhance CCPF in the coming year.
We are pleased to announce that Johnson & Johnson Corporate Contributions has become one of the key partners in championing Chipitala Cha Pa Foni (CCPF) as it advances towards national scale. Johnson & Johnson Corporate Contributions is a known supporter of community-based health care solutions that strengthen the health workforce, save and improve the lives of women and children and prevent disease among the most vulnerable.
When it comes to rural, under-resourced communities around the world, accessing appropriate health information is a challenge, where limited transportation, poor infrastructure, low health literacy and long travel distances to health centers are barriers to accessing care. These barriers are exacerbated by the fact that 85% of Malawi’s population live in rural areas. Overcoming these barriers to increase access to quality healthcare is what VillageReach is all about, and it’s where CCPF is making a measured and growing impact.
Since 2011, VillageReach has been operating Chipitala Cha Pa Foni (CCPF), a centralized call center staffed with health workers and nurses who answer toll-free calls from a growing number of districts around Malawi, serving a population of more than 500,000. Hotline workers triage patients remotely— providing callers with a range of health information and advice, with an emphasis on reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health (RMNCH) — and refer callers displaying “danger signs” for further care at a village clinic, health center, or district hospital.
Through this simple, yet innovative model, CCPF’s hotline workers help people overcome two critical delays to accessing healthcare: knowing when and where to go for care.
Impact through Partnership
Support from donors, corporate partners like Johnson & Johnson Corporate Contributions, Airtel and other implementing partners is critical as we work together to expand the scope and scale of the service, bringing CCPF to more communities. With this support, VillageReach is able to continually improve the quality and reach of CCPF. Some of the improvements this support will help to fund in the coming year include:
- Integration of electronic systems to better support hotline workers in providing complete, consistent, and reliable healthcare advice. Each CCPF hotline worker has her or his own work station equipped with a touch screen computer, not unlike a traditional call center, or our own office cubicles. On the surrounding walls each hotline worker posts maternal and child health information that can be quickly referenced during the call. Reference materials are also placed in folders, flip charts and books. The integration of an electronic reference module with the existing hotline software will replace and supplement paper-based reference materials, equipping hotline workers with easily accessible and searchable health information.
- Enhanced training and shared education resources for a growing hotline staff, Malawi health workers. VillageReach anticipates the need to onboard at least four times the current workforce when scaling nationally. To ensure all hotline workers receive adequate and consistent training, VillageReach will enhance the current training requirements through the development of a new, routine training curriculum tailored to the specific requirements of hotline workers. The training will leverage the electronic reference module (see above) to deliver comprehensive training programs which can also be beneficial beyond CCPF as a course for nurses in training, as well as a continuing learning opportunity for current nurses.
- Facilitating transition of CCPF to the Malawi Ministry of Health.
While the Ministry of Health currently supports the CCPF call center facility and some of the staffing of the CCPF services, full transition to the Ministry of Health and implementing partners requires inclusion of CCPF into annual budgets and plans created by the Ministry of Health. VillageReach will continue to work with the Ministry of Health toward national scale and transition planning, including seconding staff to the Ministry of Health’s Department of Planning, identifying a facility for CCPF hotline relocation to the country’s capital district, conducting a needs assessment of government capacity to takeover project management and work to fill gaps accordingly, and helping build sustainable and strategic financing partnerships.
These donor-funded improvements and activities are critical to the successful scale and evolution of CCPF, helping us to reach more families with improved access to health information and services, while decreasing the burden on overtaxed health workers and under-resourced health facilities.