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:
- 3.5 million doses of vaccines are delivered annually for children in Mozambique as the result of VillageReach’s technical assistance and the Dedicated Logistics System (DLS).
- The first class of Pharmacy Assistants are deployed to rural health centers, improving medicine availability and safety across Malawi.
- OpenLMIS is increasing supply chain efficiency and data visibility at the last mile in five countries (two new this year)
- The mHealth service Chipatala Cha Pa Foni “Health Center by Phone” (CCPF) is serving more mothers and caregivers than ever before and is on a path for national scale-up with the Ministry of Health and Airtel, the largest mobile network operator in Malawi.
Because the global community is now prioritizing the last mile as critical to increasing access to quality healthcare for the most underserved communities, I am optimistic for the year ahead.
When I began working with VillageReach in 2004, ‘the last mile’ was not on the international global health agenda, and while it has taken time, the tide is turning. I am proud of the work VillageReach has done to contribute to this progress through our investment in developing, testing and scaling critical last mile innovations like the Pharmacy Assistant Training Program, OpenLMIS,
CCPF, and the DLS. At the same time, I know there is still much more to do in order to achieve large-scale change at the global level.
For example, funding models for health supply chains must change, and VillageReach will play a significant role in the change management process through an increased focus on advocacy in the year ahead.
I look forward to seeing CCPF and the Pharmacy Assistant Training Program continue to grow and serve as replicable models for last mile innovation. It has been a defining year for these innovations; each at a different point of scale.
In the coming year, we will significantly expand CCPF while documenting how private sector partnership works to achieve health impact at scale. We will leverage the key learning from the Pharmacy Assistant Training Program in Malawi to generate demand for similar models in other countries, and increase global awareness of the critical role skilled pharmacy workers can play in improving quality healthcare at the last mile.
I am enthusiastic about new innovations such as the use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) for last mile medical deliveries. VillageReach is at the forefront of this innovation, applying our last mile expertise to contribute evidence around the practical use and application of this technology in the field.
I anticipate an exciting year ahead for VillageReach, filled with new ideas, change and continued growth –and an unwavering focus on increasing access to quality healthcare for the world’s most underserved communities.
To all of our committed donors who make this work possible at every stage of development – from idea to impact- thank you for your continued partnership and support.
Allen D. Wilcox