Thoughts from the Last Mile Welcome to the VillageReach Blog
05.08 2019

Originally posted on The Medium.

Many health facilities across Malawi don’t have enough trained pharmacy staff to adequately manage stock and dispense medicines. These tasks often fall on health care providers, who already have many other responsibilities, namely caring for patients. In some cases, even a ground laborer or a security guard — who may have no training in pharmacy management — must step in to help.

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05.02 2019

Last month Cyclone Idai, one of the strongest storms that touched Mozambique in nearly 20 years, tore through Beira and across Sofala province. What people weren’t expecting was something even worse. Cyclone Kenneth made landfall as a Category 4 cyclone on Wednesday, April 24th in Cabo Delgado province, and swept Pemba away. Days after the cyclone, northern Mozambique continued experiencing unrelenting rains, once again affecting nearly 190,000 people.

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04.29 2019

Transporting vaccines, essential and generic medicines and family planning products in separate shipments when they are all going to the same health facility is an inefficient use of precious resources. An integrated system for delivering products to the last mile has been developed and implemented by the Next Generation of Supply Chain initiative (NGCA) in DRC’s Equateur province. This report details how the integrated distribution contributed to improved product availability, overall cost savings and more time for health workers to spend delivering immunizations and other health services.    

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04.26 2019

Jean Louis Esanzo in his clinic

Jean Louis Esanzo, is the Superintendent Nurse at the Konongo Health Center, in the Mankanza health district of Equateur province, DRC. Konongo Health Center supplies vaccines and essential medicines for many surrounding villages. However, the only way to get vaccines to Konongo from the provincial warehouse is by boat on the Congo River. This means long journeys and high transportation costs the health center could not afford, which led to frequent vaccine stock outs in the past.

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04.23 2019

Cyclone Idai hit over a month ago and while the news cycle is winding down, the struggles to rebuild the communities and the stories of those impacted have only just begun. Numbers can hardly express the level of impact that the cyclone has had on the lives of Mozambicans. It is reading first-hand stories – like the story of baby Sara who was born in a mango tree while flood waters rose – that show the impact of the storm.

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04.09 2019

When Cyclone Idai hit nearly three weeks ago, it caused significant destruction to health infrastructures, with 54 health centers inoperable, as of April 9th.

Destruction in Beira Central Hospital

There was also extensive damage to Beira Central Hospital, which is the main hospital in the province. Poor access to health centers continues to be the greatest challenge in restocking essential medicines and medical supplies. Now, there are more than 35 partners engaged in health relief efforts, including VillageReach.

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04.04 2019

Patuma and her daughter who benefit from Chipatala cha pa Foni – Health Center by Phone.

I am pleased to share VillageReach’s 2018 Annual Impact Report  with you. This year’s report demonstrates the gains we made last year in collaboration with Ministries of Health across sub-Saharan Africa and our private and non-profit partners. It takes a deep level of commitment to build sustainable solutions that increase access to health care for all, and we appreciate our generous donors and partners who help make this possible.

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03.31 2019

Last week I attended assessment meetings with the government and members of the international development community in Maputo. The situation is even more critical with the new threat of waterborne diseases. On Sunday, Ussene Isse, the national director of medical assistance, confirmed 517* cases of cholera. In response, WHO is dispatching 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccine.

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03.31 2019

I’ve been fortunate to work with pioneering government leaders across sub-Saharan Africa, people who are leading their countries to identify and introduce solutions for pressing health challenges. There are many reasons that some new ideas take off while others fizzle.  But when it comes to reaching remote populations, Malawi didn’t let complexity get in the way.  Instead, the government chose to figure out some of the practical details.  

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03.22 2019

Almost one week ago, Cyclone Idai touched down off the coast of Mozambique, hitting Beira and nearby villages and leaving a path of destruction across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Now it is a race against time for frontline aid workers, who are working quickly to reach thousands of people trapped by the flooding.

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Malawi healthcare worker