Thoughts from the Last Mile Welcome to the VillageReach Blog
01.28 2016

A lot of attention is currently being paid to immunization supply chains (iSC) and how to improve their performance in order to absorb new vaccine introductions and leverage new technologies, all while being efficient and effective. It’s no small task. And generally, the conversation centers around the concrete components of the supply chain, such as cold chain equipment, shifting tasks to reduce the burden on health workers, or optimizing transport loops.

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01.21 2016

It’s time for New Year’s resolutions. Most of us make them. And inevitably, most of us break them. Last year I gave up added sugar. And on New Year’s Eve, as I nibbled on salted almond chocolate, I had to admit that I had given up on that resolution back in February. Yet nonetheless, while chewing on that same candy bar, I made a new resolution – spend more time having fun outdoor adventures. Luckily, this year I am armed with some research that shows that those of us who proclaim our resolutions publicly (check!) and set specific goals (do at least one outside activity- such as hiking, skiing or a long bike ride- per month) will be more likely to succeed.

Following these same principles, VillageReach is proud to publicly announce its New Year’s resolution: eliminate stockouts.

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12.22 2015

In response to this article by Dr. Mahad Ibrahim on the role of data during the Ebola outbreak, some interesting questions were sparked among our team. The piece evoked a lot of great insights about the opportunities and challenges the piece addresses, as well as how we see those topics evidenced in our VillageReach work. This topic is of particular interest to us, as we and our partners at the University of Washington are actively developing and testing an open-source tool for paper to digital data conversion, ODK Scan.

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12.01 2015

2015 has been a watershed year for VillageReach.  It represents the culmination of work over many years, and proves that our model for system innovation is working:  governments and institutional partners are changing approaches to last mile healthcare delivery based on VillageReach-generated working models in the field, evidence, and advocacy:

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12.01 2015
Today the world recognizes World Aids Day – a day to unite in the fight against HIV and to support the millions of people around the globe living with HIV.

In conjunction with World Aids Day, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has published a new report – Empty Shelves, Come Back Tomorrow – evaluating the current incidence of HIV for four of the worst HIV-affected countries in sub-Saharan Africa including Mozambique.  In the country, 11% of the adult population is HIV positive, but only 45% of those affected receive the required level of treatment.   As the report notes about Mozambique “… there is no funded regular last mile delivery and stockouts are seen at facility level.”

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11.24 2015

Did you know- globally, more than 1 billion people lack access to healthcare? Chances are, you are not part of the 1 billion. You most likely live in a place with adequate access to:

  1. Vaccines to fully immunize our children
  2. Highly skilled doctors, nurses and other specialized healthcare providers
  3. Modern, safe, and adequately staffed healthcare facilities- hospitals, clinics, pharmacies
  4. Essential medicines and reproductive health products

HRT Village Reach

As global health advocates, we know how very different the reality is in the low- and middle income countries in which we work, especially at the last mile, often the most rural and hard to reach communities where access is a fundamental barrier to improving health outcomes.

In these communities, there are often no doctors, vaccines and essential medicines are frequently out of stock or simply not available, healthcare facilities are widely dispersed (inaccessible) and rudimentary at best, and healthcare workers struggle to meet the daily demands placed on them. This is the reality of the 1 billion.

As we join our families this coming Thanksgiving Day, let’s give thanks for access to quality healthcare and celebrate those on the frontlines of healthcare, working  together with us to change the inequities of healthcare around the world – starting at the last mile.

#thanks4healthcare

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11.23 2015

Insights into the GHSCS Prize for Supply Chain Excellence in Global Health in Low- and Middle Income Countries

Portuguese version of this post

Out of five global health supply chain interventions nominated, the Dedicated Logistics System in Mozambique was selected as the winner of the Prize for Supply Chain Excellence in Global Health in Low- and Middle Income Countries, presented at the 2015 Global Health Supply Chain Conference in Dakar, Senegal, November 2015.

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11.19 2015

Last week, the annual Global Health Supply Chain Summit took place in Dakar, Senegal, bringing together supply chain specialists and thought leaders from around the world to keep challenging each of us to strive for better performance of supply chains. It is a week to reflect on what is currently happening in supply chain management, and it sets the agenda for priorities for the coming year.

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11.12 2015

Republished from the UN Foundation Blog: Global Connections

I often find myself playing the global health version of “if you were trapped on a desert island, which three things would you bring?” In my version, it’s “if you were the Ministry of Health, which three programs would you fund?” When I do this thought experiment, I often run into the exact same impossible questions cash-strapped ministries of health are forced to answer: Do I fund health workers or do I buy medicines? Do I fund treatment services or invest in preventative health programs? What will have the most impact? What will save the most lives? After a while, I do what any reasonable person faced with an unwinnable game does – I find a loophole.

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10.12 2015

The UN Commission for Life-Saving Commodities (UNCoLSC)Atelier d’échange: Pratiques et ressources pour améliorer l’accès aux treize produits vitaux pour la santé des femmes et des enfants(in English, “Workshop to Promote Exchange on Practices and Resources to Increase Access to the 13 Life-Saving Commodities for Women’s and Children’s Health”) on took place last month in Dakar, Senegal. The workshop was made possible through a collaboration between the UNCoLSC and Securité Contraceptive en Afrique Francophone (SECONAF, the regional forum for Francophone Africa of the Reproductive Health Supply Chain Coalition), and followed the SECONAF Annual Meeting.

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