Thoughts from the Last Mile Welcome to the VillageReach Blog

Category Archives: COVID-19

09.08 2021

In a pandemic, innovation is not an option. It is a requirement.

At VillageReach, innovation has long been a core value. We believe creativity and fearless exploration are essential to developing sustainable solutions that improve the availability of health services and foster lasting change for communities everywhere.

We also know that in times of crisis, innovation can take many forms — from new ideas and new ways of working, to new uses for existing tools. Over the past 18 months VillageReach has supported governments across the countries we work in, relying on our spirit of innovation to both respond to COVID-19 now and strengthen health systems for the future.

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07.28 2021

Originally posted on Skoll.org.

As the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic bore down in Democratic Republic of Congo in December 2020, Bébé Bola, a community health worker (CHW) in the Pakadjuma township of Kinshasa knew that she and her colleagues lacked the personal protective equipment (PPE) they needed to do their job safely. “We only have a few hydro alcoholic gels and a small number of masks, but this is not enough,” she told Benedicte Waula of VillageReach. “We need the protective materials to continue to do our service well.”

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03.16 2021

I never thought I’d be so excited by pictures of boxes being unloaded from airplanes. When I saw the photos come streaming across social media this week, I breathed a deep sigh of relief. The pallets being wheeled onto the tarmac meant that COVID-19 vaccines had arrived in Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Côte d’Ivoire, Malawi and many other African countries. As government officials and partners began to unpack the containers, we all knew the hard work was just beginning.

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03.01 2021

With all the recent COVAX developments, our favorite headline by far was the start of ‘history-making COVAX vaccination drives’ today.

The administration of the COVID-19 vaccines began for health workers in Côte d’Ivoire, following a ceremony where Patrick Achie, Chief of Staff to the President was first to receive a dose. This marked the launch of the vaccination campaign just three days after receiving the delivery of 504,000 doses.

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12.15 2020

Originally posted on Skoll.org.

No health worker should have to choose between treating their patients and keeping themselves and their families safe. However, as the global shortage and inequitable distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) continues, many health workers face this choice.

This reality is especially true for community health workers (CHWs) in low-and middle-income countries. Despite playing a central role in delivering essential health services, CHWs are often the last to receive PPE. For two Malawian CHWs, Raphael Salanga and Reuben Chipelesa, known as Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs), choosing between protecting themselves or serving their communities happens on a daily basis.

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12.15 2020

Originally posted on medium.com.

In rural and remote communities around the world, people have to walk for hours or even days to reach the nearest clinic to access services and medicines, which may not even be available when they arrive. A people-centered health system looks beyond health facilities to move vital health products more directly to people, wherever they live. Last Mile Health and VillageReach share a commitment to ensuring every person can access the health care they need — no matter where they live.

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Malawi healthcare worker