Thoughts from the Last Mile Welcome to the VillageReach Blog

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04.09 2020

Originally posted on

As countries across Africa test, trace contacts, and confirm cases of COVID-19, at VillageReach we are listening, learning and adjusting. I have been receiving regular updates from VillageReach Country Directors across our country offices in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi and Mozambique. For weeks now, we have focused our attention on how to prepare our staff and support our government partners in the ministries of health (MoHs). This has meant employing the best methods for rapid-response communication because the first-line of attack is to fight misinformation.

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03.11 2020

VillageReach and the Malawi Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) received a prestigious award from The National Planning Commission (NPC) recognizing Chipatala Cha Pa Foni (CCPF) or “Health Center by Phone” as a Transformative Initiative for the country. CCPF is a toll-free health hotline in Malawi that creates a link between the health center and remote communities. CCPF is staffed by trained health workers who provide information and referrals over the phone. Originally only operating in one district, the hotline is now nationwide and being integrated into the Malawian health system.

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11.25 2019

Originally posted on the Skoll Foundation Blog.

Last week as we prepared for a panel on transitioning health solutions to government, Skoll Principal Liz Diebold introduced me to the word game Mad Libs. While I’d never filled in the blanks for fun as a kid, the idea immediately made sense. Whenever something gets overly complex—as our work in health systems often does—boiling something down to its essence can help get the point across.

Liz and I, along with our moderator Nosa Orobaton, Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Mike Kollins, Director of Programs from Splash, tried to come up with a pithy way to introduce ourselves for a session, Best Practices in Transitioning Solutions to Government. I agreed that the sentence: Scale matters because_____________ was a great way to get us started.

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10.16 2019

The world has changed greatly in the nearly 20 years since our founders – Blaise Judja-Sato, Craig Nakagawa, Lionel Pierre, and Didier Lavril – joined forces with Mrs. Graça Machel’s Foundation for Community Development in Mozambique to make sure every health center in Northern Mozambique had regular access to vaccines. This year, VillageReach staff and board of directors stepped back to reflect on where we have been since then and where we are going. Today I am thrilled to share with you the results of this reflection – VillageReach’s 2020-2023 Goals and Strategies.

VillageReach’s 2020-2023 Goals and Strategies

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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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06.13 2019

Originally posted on World Bank Blogs.

At the heart of universal health coverage (UHC) is leaving no one behind.  Remarkable efforts are underway to energize culture, activate politicians and align global actors to prioritize actions that reach the poorest and most marginalized people first.  The health, economic and social benefits of UHC are well-documented.  At VillageReach, three additional reasons inspire us to lead with the last in order to ensure access to affordable and quality health services for all.

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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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03.22 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