Thoughts from the Last Mile Welcome to the VillageReach Blog
09.05 2018

Reposted from OpenLMIS

OpenLMIS is a global initiative to support the development of shareable, interoperable, open-source software for electronic logistics management information systems. The OpenLMIS initiative’s mission is to make a powerful Logistics Management Information System (LMIS) available in low-resource environments – providing high-quality logistics management to improve health commodity distribution in low- and middle-income countries.

The OpenLMIS community is very pleased to announce the release of version 3.4 of the OpenLMIS software. Version 3.4 incorporates a variety of new features and enhancements:  

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09.05 2018

Originally posted on Medium.

To transform health care delivery in far-reaching areas of Mozambique, it takes creativity, thinking outside of the box, resilience and strong commitment. It also requires a team approach and a lot of early buy-in. Engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders and being inclusive of a range of voices from the start is paramount to the work that we do at VillageReach, and particularly with a new and evolving technology like drones.

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08.30 2018

DREAMS Innovation Challenge | Success Story

Funding from the DREAMS Innovation Challenge supports the expansion of Malawi’s mobile health hotline Chipatala cha pa Foni (CCPF), or Health Center by Phone. Implemented by VillageReach and its partners, CCPF for Adolescents builds on the existing toll-free hotline to improve access to youth-friendly sexual reproductive health (SRH) information and referral services. CCPF for Adolescents operates in two DREAMS project districts that have high rates of unplanned pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections/HIV among adolescents.

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08.28 2018

Dauda Majanbu is trying to solve a complicated problem: delivering family planning supplies to rural health centers in Nigeria. It’s a problem that requires collaboration while also expertly managing resources and expectations. As the lead for the Family Planning Access for Women project at VillageReach, Dauda works with the government and partners to strengthen last mile distribution systems for contraceptive, maternal and neonatal health commodities in two Nigerian states.

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08.10 2018

DREAMS Innovation Challenge  |  Success Story

Connecting adolescents with resources is nothing new for Tinnah Onions, but it is her first time linking them to sexual and reproductive health information via the toll-free Chipatala Cha Pa Foni (CCPF)— Health Center by Phone—hotline. CCPF hires health care workers to provide health information and referrals over the phone, providing a critical link to the health system, especially for remote and underserved communities.

Tinnah and her colleague Justin Mpalabwazi are some of the most recent additions to CCPF for Adolescents, an initiative of the DREAMS Innovation Challenge. As adolescent advisors, they promote the CCPF service to their peers, helping to meet the sexual and reproductive health information needs of adolescents in Malawi.

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07.18 2018

When we think about innovation, what often comes to mind are software and smartphones. But sometimes, innovation is what you end up with when trying to solve a problem. In Mozambique, we did this by finding a way to coordinate drivers who were already traveling near health facilities to help with lab sample delivery. Last week, after six months of planning the approach and adapting the mobile application, AmosTaxi was born.

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07.03 2018

Originally posted on Medium. 

Imagine this: you have a cough. At first, it’s annoying, but you try to ignore it. It grows more persistent and you start worrying about getting your kids sick, so you decide to go see a health professional. Now imagine the nearest clinic is 10 kilometres away or more — and even though you’re coughing and tired, you have to walk or ride a bike to get there. You have taken time away from work and used precious financial resources to get to the clinic. Once you arrive, the health worker decides to test you for tuberculosis (TB), and says to return in 2–3 weeks for your results, as the health facility does not have a laboratory on-site.

The day of your follow-up arrives, and you again make the 10 kilometre trip back to the clinic. But there is only disappointing news: they couldn’t get the specimen to the laboratory fast enough, and therefore the test could not be conducted. They recommend that you travel even further to a different facility and repeat the test. Meanwhile, your family has also started coughing. Feel frustrated? Or hopeless? This is a reality that VillageReach along with DFID Mozambique, Ministry of Health, and other partners are trying to change in rural Mozambique.

And we are doing it using drones.

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06.19 2018
Benat Kalebe is a pharmacy technician at Ntchisi District Hospital, Malawi.

On any given day, you may find Benat Kalebe organizing his storeroom or dispensing medicines at the Ntchisi District Hospital. He may be working in the hospital’s different wards, providing support for the nurses and doctors while keeping a close eye on the stock levels of the medicines they use. But Benat is more than the hospital’s pharmacy technician. He is a conduit for life-saving medicines for 16 health facilities throughout Ntchisi District in Malawi.

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06.01 2018
Laiford at work in Mbang’ombe 1 Health Center drugstore

Mbang’ombe 1 Health Center is in the back yard of Lilongwe International Airport. In terms of access to quality health services however, the facility might as well be far from Lilongwe. At approximately 50 km from the Lilongwe District Health Office and Central Medical Stores, the facility serves a rural community. It has one clinician, four nurses, 11 Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) and several support staff who serve over 5,000 households, a total population of 24,762 people. The facility has never had pharmacy personnel.

Laiford Nandolo is one of the two HSAs that help manage the drugstore in the absence of a trained Pharmacy Assistant. Although Laiford has over 10 years of experience as a health worker, most of his drugstore clerk experience has been on the job without formal training, except a one-day training he received back in 2014.

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04.25 2018

I had the privilege of meeting Ruphin Ndumbala on my recent visit to Equateur province, DRC. Ruphin is one of the many frontline health workers who go above and beyond to ensure vaccines reach every last child. Recently, he made a promise, and I was honored enough to see him deliver.

“I used to spend at least two days’ roundtrip to collect vaccines.” Ruphin spoke outside of his clinic in rural Equateur province. “It was a big concern for my family that I was leaving behind, but also for the patients I was leaving unattended.”

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Malawi healthcare worker