Thoughts from the Last Mile Welcome to the VillageReach Blog
09.25 2019
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09.12 2019

In Zambézia province, VillageReach is working with the government to implement the USAID Last Mile Supply Chain (LMSC) Program, an intervention to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the distribution of medicines. LMSC uses outsourced fourth-party logistics providers (4PLs) to manage distribution and transfer the processes and tools to the government of Mozambique.

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09.12 2019

Routine distributions of medicines to communities at the last mile in Mozambique have always been challenging due to long distances and poor road conditions. To make matters worse, January often brings heavy rains that flood rivers and wash away roads. On certain occasions, health workers from rural clinics may have to travel over roads with deep craters or mud to reach the district warehouse to avoid stock-outs at their health center.

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08.27 2019

In order to reach more children with life-saving immunizations, VillageReach is applying human-centered design (HCD) methodology towards the development of an electronic immunization registry (EIR) in Mozambique. HCD can be used to establish solutions that fulfill a population’s needs and improve health outcomes. As an EIR is designed to digitize paper-based immunization records, it is important to understand how these records are updated and maintained from a human-centered perspective.

HCD is a process that places humans at the center of each step, so that the solution is tailored to their needs.[1]

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08.27 2019

Originally posted on Medium.com

I started working in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) four years ago when VillageReach was approached with an opportunity–to improve the availability of vaccines and essential medicines in rural Equateur province. 

I never back down from a challenge, and this one couldn’t be more difficult given the forest density, the river running through the province, and lack of roads. What roads there were would get washed away or become mud pistes for Land Cruisers during the rainy season. 

In countries like DRC, supply chains are designed with the environment in mind and drones looked promising for vaccine distribution given these conditions. After months of building the case for testing drones, the plan to perform a series of demonstration flights was approved.

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07.29 2019

Originally posted on Gavi.org.

Geneva, 26 July 2019 – A chatbot technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI), an analytics platform using crowd-sourced data and a new approach to transgender community engagement have all been chosen to be 2019’s INFUSE Pacesetters.

Gavi launched INFUSE – Innovation for Uptake, Scale and Equity in Immunisation – at the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos to help improve vaccine delivery systems by connecting high-impact innovations with the countries that need them the most.

This year, Gavi sought innovations uniquely positioned to address the challenges involved in assuring that children living in urban areas are reached with immunisation and health services.

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07.23 2019

On July 17, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a public health emergency of international concern.

The WHO declaration is a serious matter, and one that VillageReach does not take lightly.  We support WHO’s decision to raise the global profile of this outbreak, as many lives have been lost and new resources and solutions are needed.  WHO reported on July 18th that there have been 2522 confirmed and probable cases of Ebola in this region and 1698 deaths since the beginning of the outbreak. 135 of the infections have been in health workers. Since the Ebola outbreak is taking place in a conflict zone, containment and response has been difficult.

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07.08 2019

Supply chains are critically important to the success of any reproductive health program. Efficiently run supply chains can help eliminate barriers so that no woman leaves a health clinic empty handed. However, supply chains are also expensive to operate. The process of identifying more efficient supply chain designs can be a challenging process requiring significant investments in data collection and modeling. Despite the benefits associated with exploring and implementing more streamlined supply chain designs, programs often lack the time, resources, or data to pursue an intensive supply chain re-design.

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06.25 2019

Originally posted on Medium.com

NextWing (flynextwing.com) conducted test flights at Malawi’s Kasungu drone testing corridor in March 2019


Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are an emerging technology that hold a lot of promise to improve access to health care for the most underserved populations in hard-to-reach areas.
Additionally, it can provide time savings in critical situations in busy urban areas with heavy traffic congestion. Despite becoming commonplace in recreational settings, and being utilized in various sectors, drones are still a nascent technology when it comes to transporting medical products. With every flight test, VillageReach continues to uncover new insights that prove invaluable to pave the way towards drone introduction and integration into health systems. VillageReach is aware of the complexity and technical expertise required to test drones and the findings gleaned from similar projects in other countries are critical to ensure readiness in deploying the technology as a viable supply chain solution.

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Malawi healthcare worker