Thoughts from the Last Mile Welcome to the VillageReach Blog
07.26 2016

Reaching Further: Upile Kachila

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Bringing a program to scale can’t be done single-handedly. It requires the commitment of partners working collaboratively towards a common goal and a dedicated team to keep up momentum as new and unexpected challenges arise. Sometimes, key individuals drive a project forward. They find themselves in the unique position to motivate partners and steward the larger team. Upile Kachila is one of these people.

As the new VillageReach Technical Assistant seconded to the Malawi Ministry of Health, Upile is helping guide the Chipatala Cha Pa Foni program through the process of national scale-up. CCPF, or Health Center by Phone, provides easily accessible health information and referrals for over 1.3 million people in eight districts in Malawi. With dedicated partners like Johnson & Johnson Corporate Contributions and Airtel committed to the transition and scale up, in addition to the partners supporting the districts,  CCPF is continuing to expand both in scope and scale, with the goal of reaching every one of the 28 districts and all 16 million people. Upile will play a critical role, helping to lay the groundwork for a truly sustainable, country-wide service.

Working out of the Ministry of Health in the Central Monitoring and Evaluation Division, Upile works directly with the Ministry to build a two-way transition plan which will guide the Ministry as it takes full ownership of the CCPF call center. She is identifying key personnel within the Ministry and building their capacity to provide the technical and administrative support for the hotline in collaboration with partners like Baobab Health. In this role, Upile is uniquely placed to predict possible roadblocks to a successful scale up, and mitigate them long before they happen. She will build a roll-out plan and a community mobilization plan, utilizing the lessons VillageReach has learned already, leveraging  the broad strengths of the CCPF partners.

“Working on this new and vital phase of CCPF is an exciting and motivating challenge. Being a focal point to coordinate the efforts that will see CCPF successfully adopted by the Ministry of Health at full scale is most exciting. In addition, the fact that I will be working with high-end delegates in a technical advisory capacity to promote and progress the vision of the ‘health center by phone’ makes me want to get up and go to work every morning.”

Upile at Work

Upile is also charged with strengthening relationships – between VillageReach, the Ministry of Health, and key partners like Airtel Malawi and Baobab Health. She is creating even stronger connections between partners, engaging them in scale up planning to ensure buy-in and sustainability. Currently, Upile is working with these partners to establish the steering committee who will work alongside the Ministry, guiding CCPF to further success.

Upile comes to this role with a passion for global health. “I have always wanted to be a part of a diverse movement that utilized innovative ideas to achieve universal health coverage in Malawi. Health access in Malawi is hugely impeded with challenges in accessibility, affordability especially within the hard-to-reach, underserved communities.” With her background in marketing, communication, and community mobilization, as well as a strong background in a range of health topics, Upile will be able to guide CCPF’s government-led national roll out. With her support, and the efforts of a dedicated team of individuals and partners, CCPF will reach the last mile in Malawi.

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