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Thoughts from the Last Mile Welcome to the VillageReach Blog
01.19 2022

Originally posted on Dronelife.com.

The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed health systems across the globe. In the shadows lies other diseases that can cause more emergencies, such as yellow fever. To face these threats, creative solutions are required to stop the next health crisis. This is exactly what the provincial health officials of Equateur province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), are doing by leveraging an ongoing drone delivery network established in 2020. It will support a mass yellow fever immunization campaign targeting over 90% of the population, one village at a time.

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12.21 2021

Originally posted at Forbes.com

In much of the social sector, the dichotomy between those served and those serving still influences the way we work. We may talk about global health, but when we say global, I’ve found we usually mean low-resource countries. This line of thinking, with its colonial roots, only reinforces often false dichotomies between donor and recipient countries and communities.

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12.02 2021

Originally posted at Medium.com

Friday’s news of the COVID-19 variant Omicron hit me hard: I was recently in both Malawi and Mozambique, where cases have been on the decline over the last few months, vaccine supply is finally more consistent, and vaccines are getting into arms. Today, travelers from both countries — and six others in the region — were banned by the United States, following similar announcements by the UK and the European Union on Friday.

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10.26 2021

It all started with a plane, a cyclone and a desire to help people.

In 1999, Graça Machel and her husband Nelson Mandela boarded a plane to Seattle. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Craig and Susan McCaw Foundation sponsored their trip, which aimed to raise awareness and funding for both Machel’s and Mandela’s respective foundations. At the time Gates and McCaw ran a telecommunications company, and they sent one of their executives, Blaise Judja-Sato, to South Africa as a welcoming committee to accompany Machel and Mandela on the flight.

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10.13 2021

When Cyclone Idai caused widespread devastation across Mozambique in 2019, Dr. Rotafina Donco was on the ground in the coastal city of Beira, much of which had been washed away in the floods. She recalls her tears when she saw the destruction that had taken place, and her urgent task – to contain emergent waterborne diseases so that the people of Mozambique didn’t suffer a further tragedy. I met with Dr. Donco two years later, when she had joined VillageReach as Country Director for Mozambique, to discuss her important new role in transforming health care delivery.

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10.06 2021

Originally posted at Forbes.com

What is normal anymore? I am constantly discussing what my own “return to normal” looks like with my friends, family and colleagues. And while this normal looks different for each of us, one thing is clear: The pandemic has fundamentally changed our values, requiring us to embrace the challenge and opportunity of redefining normal. The conversation facing the social sector is no different.

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09.08 2021

In a pandemic, innovation is not an option. It is a requirement.

At VillageReach, innovation has long been a core value. We believe creativity and fearless exploration are essential to developing sustainable solutions that improve the availability of health services and foster lasting change for communities everywhere.

We also know that in times of crisis, innovation can take many forms — from new ideas and new ways of working, to new uses for existing tools. Over the past 18 months VillageReach has supported governments across the countries we work in, relying on our spirit of innovation to both respond to COVID-19 now and strengthen health systems for the future.

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08.04 2021

Originally posted at Medium.com

I am excited to announce three new leaders for VillageReach – two who are stepping into new roles, and one who we welcome to the VillageReach family. As an organization that is committed to leadership that represents the diversity of our global team, we value the growth and evolution of leaders within our incredible staff of 160 people around the globe.

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07.28 2021

Originally posted on Skoll.org.

As the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic bore down in Democratic Republic of Congo in December 2020, Bébé Bola, a community health worker (CHW) in the Pakadjuma township of Kinshasa knew that she and her colleagues lacked the personal protective equipment (PPE) they needed to do their job safely. “We only have a few hydro alcoholic gels and a small number of masks, but this is not enough,” she told Benedicte Waula of VillageReach. “We need the protective materials to continue to do our service well.”

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Malawi healthcare worker