Thoughts from the Last Mile Welcome to the VillageReach Blog
08.26 2015

As the VillageReach Field Officer in Gaza province, Mozambique, I work closely with the DPS (Provincial Directorate of Health) and the EPI manager, logistician, and the medical chief to make sure that the vaccine supply chain is performing in the most efficient way and with high quality results.

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08.20 2015

Ready, set, go! And they’re off!

That’s how the introduction of Rotavirus happened in Mozambique. The country has been planning on this for a while, but, as often happens, it seems to come down to the wire to work out the details of how to get more than 1 million vials of Rotavirus out to more than 1,400 health centers across the country.

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08.13 2015
Malawi village clinic
VillageReach HSA, Pemphero Katondo leads Jailosi Village clinic

As a Community Health Facilitator for VillageReach in Malawi, I see the impact of Community Case Management (CMM), a strategy that promotes the early care-seeking behavior, assessment, diagnosis, recognition, and appropriate treatment for childhood illnesses at the community-level.

Over the last few years, CCM has evolved into a more comprehensive strategy that addresses the three main diseases that commonly kill young children under 5

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06.26 2015

Olivia Vargas is currently in Mozambique conducting a midline evaluation of the ColdTrace pilot program, a remote temperature monitoring system for vaccines currently operating in the southern portion of the Gaza Province where she recently visited a vaccine warehouse as inspiration for this blog.

Vaccines come with a lot of accessories. They are the friend that shows up with four suitcases for a weekend getaway. The friend that packs for every possible weather scenario, and the friend that takes the longest to get ready to leave the house. I learned this lesson while in the Mozambican province of Gaza. I got a tour of the provincial warehouse where all the vaccines are stored before they are distributed to district health centers and remote health posts.

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06.05 2015

The 15th TechNet Conference convened last month in Bangkok, bringing together a global network of professionals and practitioners committed to strengthening immunization services in developing countries.  As my first time attending, it was a great opportunity to “geek out” about vaccines with a whole bunch of other vaccine “geeks.” The conference presented a mix of global policies and trends, as well as presentations from different countries on innovations for the vaccine supply chain that are improving efficiencies and increasing vaccine coverage rates. It was an opportunity to share experiences and learn from others’ work around the world.

Tech Net-21
Tech Net-21 Group Photo, courtesy of TechNet-21

A few key themes emerged from the conversations and presentations during the conference:

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05.18 2015

Using mobile technology is a key component in USAID’s strategy to end preventable maternal and child deaths, called Acting on the Call . According to USAID, by using mobile technology to accelerate our rate of progress, we can save the lives of 15 million children and almost 600,000 women by 2020.  For the past four days, I’ve had the opportunity to explore how other countries and organizations are approaching this goal at the Africa Regional Meeting on Digital Health for Overcoming Barriers to Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths and Achieving Universal Health Coverage.

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04.28 2015

For the last fifteen years, VillageReach has been working to help ensure all children have access to vaccines. I have had the opportunity to spend time in rural health facilities across sub-Saharan Africa, talk with hundreds of healthcare workers, and meet with numerous leaders of health ministries. Through our daily interactions with health workers and government partners, I’ve seen first-hand the challenges to achieving immunization equity, especially as new vaccines are being added to already strained systems.

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04.07 2015

Improving Data for Management of the Vaccine Cold Chain in Mozambique

Last week I was spending a lot of time with my colleague from UNICEF/Mozambique to create a distribution plan for  new cold chain equipment procured and funded by UNICEF. This is a great opportunity for the country to strengthen the cold chain to ensure vaccines are available and potent all the way to the last mile of delivery.

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03.26 2015

CCPF is an mHealth innovation developed and implemented by VillageReach and its partners in Malawi. CCPF was introduced to parts of Nkhotakota district in 2013 with support from Concern Worldwide Malawi. The success of CCPF in these select areas led Concern Worldwide Malawi and VillageReach to launch the services district-wide in Nkhotakota. This blog from VillageReach M&E Officer, Robert Saiti, describes the launch event that took place on March 12th. The expansion of CCPF means 65,000 more women and caregivers of young children will now have access to the service.

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03.16 2015

March’s arrival has brought a much-needed return to many of the essential services in northern Mozambique that the public health system and communities alike depend on.  In early January we reported on the devastating loss of both electricity and transport due to severe flooding throughout the region, including many of the communities we work with in neighboring Malawi.  

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