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Thoughts from the Last Mile Welcome to the VillageReach Blog

Tag Archives: Maternal and Child Health

01.06 2017
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Patuma and her family outside her home in Malawi. Patuma used CCPF to get information about her daughter’s Epistaxis.

I recently returned from a trip to Malawi where I had the opportunity to visit several families who have benefited from Chipatala Cha Pa Foni, or Health Center by Phone, a toll-free health hotline in Malawi that connects individuals directly with trained health workers who provide information, advice and referrals over the phone. One of those visits was with the Richards family who live in Kazondo Village in Balaka, a district in southern Malawi.

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10.19 2016

Last week, the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) brought together hundreds of the top minds in global reproductive health issues at the Coalition’s 17th Annual Meeting. This meeting provided a forum for discussing the many triumphs and continuing challenges of reaching 120 million additional women with reproductive health services by the year 2020. Access to reproductive health commodities allows women to decide if and when to have children. This ability is not only a human right, it can be a life or death situation for many women and young girls. Increasing access to reproductive health is also one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to reduce infant and maternal deaths.  As an active member of the RHSC’s System Strengthening Working Group, VillageReach eagerly engaged in this week of conversation and idea exchange. Many of the central themes reflect the work of VillageReach, allowing us to bring our experience and expertise to the conversation while learning and growing from the experiences of our partners.

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05.02 2016

Donor support and new partners like  Johnson & Johnson will help expand and enhance CCPF in the coming year.

A family using CCPF

We are pleased to announce that Johnson & Johnson Corporate Contributions has become one of the key partners in championing Chipitala Cha Pa Foni (CCPF) as it advances towards national scale.  Johnson & Johnson Corporate Contributions is a known supporter of community-based health care solutions that strengthen the health workforce, save and improve the lives of women and children and prevent disease among the most vulnerable.

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04.25 2016
immunization supply chain in Mozambique
Dr. Ramos Mboane

Summary: Dr. Ramos Mboane, Provincial Chief Medical Officer in Mozambique shares insights on key factors countries should prioritize to make #vaccineswork.

 This post is part of the #ProtectingKids story roundup. Read all the stories here


During World Immunization Week, people from all over the world are talking about one thing: how do we reach more children with the vaccines that they need? As someone responsible for overseeing the immunization program in my province, this is an issue I think about every day.  We all know that there are many reasons children fail to get immunized, and when I think about closing the immunization gap – in Niassa, and for other communities like us around the world – these are the things I think are most important:

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03.28 2016

Could UAVs Reduce Waiting Time for Pediatric HIV Test Results?

UAV in Malawi
Photo: UNICEF – Children observe the UAV launch in Malawi

I have experienced quite a few “firsts” since joining VillageReach, but by far one of the most exciting is the experience participating in the first tests of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) (commonly known as drones) for HIV sample transport* in Malawi. VillageReach is currently working with UNICEF and Matternet, a leading UAV company, to test and assess the feasibility of UAVs, with critical implications for the treatment of HIV in children.

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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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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

I recently had the opportunity to represent VillageReach and the Malawi-based mHealth program Chipatala Cha Pa Foni (CCPF) at a capacity building workshop hosted and facilitated by Open Capital, an ICT organization based in Nairobi, Kenya. I joined 10 other grantees of the United Nation Foundation’s Innovations Working Group, an initiative committed to advancing the the use of mobile technology to improve health outcomes – particularly as it relates to development in low- and middle-income countries.

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09.24 2015

Many people in global health talk about how Coca-Cola supply chain practices could be applied and adapted to health commodities to ensure that vaccines, malaria treatment, family planning commodities, and many more essential medicines are available at the last mile health facilities. And they have a point—I have seen Coca-Cola in pretty much every village I’ve been to in Africa throughout my almost 20 years of going to these remote places.

However, that cannot be said for the south part of the Equateur Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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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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