Thoughts from the Last Mile Welcome to the VillageReach Blog
Feb 18 2015

Have you ever forgotten about a doctor appointment? Or put off scheduling an appointment because you didn’t have the time? With all the schedules and activities we juggle today, missing or forgetting to schedule appointments is common. Often, we put off making an appointment until we feel sick or are in pain. Waiting to go to the doctor until something urgent happens becomes particularly dangerous for pregnant women when routine antenatal care (ANC) is critical for both the health of the baby and the mother. In Malawi, where maternal and child mortality rates are some of the highest in the world, increasing ANC can be integral to improving maternal, infant, and child health, yet routine ANC is not a common practice.  Increasing knowledge and awareness about the importance of ANC is a key component to improving maternal and child outcomes.

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Feb 09 2015

VillageReach, in collaboration with D-tree, is proud to announce the implementation of a new mhealth application in Malawi. What an exciting partnership! During the first week of February 2015, 25 health surveillance assistants (HSAs), nurses and other health workers in Balaka District received intensive training on smartphone technology and the capabilities of a new maternal and neonatal health (MNH) assessment application developed by D-tree. Using smartphones to improve the assessment of pregnant women and their children will increase access to health care and improve the quality of care provided in rural villages.

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Jan 22 2015

VillageReach operates several programs in the areas affected by the recent flooding in Malawi including the Kwitanda Community Health Project, located in Balaka District. VillageReach’s ongoing work in Kwitanda highlights the critical role of infrastructure and how systemic improvements are critical to community health outcomes, especially when disaster hits.

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Jan 20 2015

 

This week, our blog, Thoughts from the Last Mile is dedicated to our staff who live and work in Malawi and Mozambique where devastating flooding this past week has greatly intensified the existing barriers to healthcare delivery brought on by a lack of infrastructure-energy, roads, communications, etc.  While aid is available, the inability to get aid to those in need remains a significant challenge. This critical lack of access is the basis on which VillageReach was created.

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Jan 08 2015

Why Peer-to-Peer Learning is a Critical Part of Health System Improvement

As the Country Director for VillageReach in Mozambique, I am very encouraged by the progress we have made in the last 12 months. Great strides were made at the national level to bring attention to the need for supply chain system optimization based on the achievements of the Dedicated Logistics System (DLS). Peer-to-peer learning played a key role in that progress.

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Dec 17 2014

Last week, the Ministry of Health in Mozambique hosted the yearly national level meeting for the Expanded Program on Immunizations (EPI). Several people from each of the ten provinces in the country as well as the national level participated, including the provincial level medical chief and the EPI managers. It was a time to reflect back on recommendations made at last year’s meeting, review the data coming from the provincial EPI programs, and identify ways to improve activities.

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Dec 04 2014

The Role of Data Collection and One Community’s Path Toward Change

While working on the Kwitanda Community Health Project (KCHP), based in the Kwitanda catchment area, Balaka District, in southern Malawi, I have seen firsthand how critical the role of data collection is to improving health outcomes. In this rural and remote setting, the news of a maternal death spreads quickly, but quietly, almost like a rumor or story. “Did you hear? Another mother died in childbirth in that village. Another neonatal death occurred last week.” It is difficult to understand the causes of the death, or how often they occur because little information is collected and reported on these events.

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Nov 21 2014

Last week marked the seventh annual Global Health Supply Chain Summit, which brings together academics, supply chain specialists, ministry of health representatives, bi-laterals, and even private sector logisticians each year to check in, explore new ideas, report on studies, and essentially challenge each other to keep improving supply chain management in the countries where we work.

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