Thoughts from the Last Mile Welcome to the VillageReach Blog
11.17 2014

VillageReach developed and operates Chipatala Cha Pa Foni (CCPF), a mobile-based health hotline in Malawi that aims to increase access to health information, advice and care over the phone.  Using a simple shortcode, users are connected to a hotline staffed by qualified health care practitioners to consult on a wide range of health information and provide referral services when needed. Users can also opt for personalized voice and SMS health messages tailored to women regarding their pregnancy or the health needs of their children. Operating since 2011, CCPF was first developed in partnership with Concern Worldwide and VillageReach as a resource for maternal and child health information specifically targeting rural and remote communities. The service has expanded to reach multiple districts and serves all demographics and a growing range of health topics. VillageReach is working with the Malawi Ministry of Health on a plan to fully transition program operations and scale up nationally.

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11.17 2014

In 2012, VillageReach began a three-year initiative to train and deploy a new cadre of  facility-based pharmacy staff to improve data management, decrease logistics burden on clinical staff and improve quality of care. The first cadre of students graduated in 2015.  Graduates are employed by the Ministry of Health to work in health centers in rural areas. Since 2016, VillageReach has transitioned to technical support for this initiative, passing ownership to the Ministry of Health and Malawi College of Health Sciences, while remaining active partners to help the Ministry reach its goal of training and placing a Pharmacy Assistant in every health center nationally – around 650 locations.  Initiative partners include the Malawi Ministry of Health, the Malawi College of Health Sciences, the University of Washington Global Medicines Program, and USAID | DELIVER.

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11.17 2014

VillageReach and the University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering Department developed ODK Scan, an Android-based mobile phone application that uses computer vision to digitize and process data from paper forms. The application was designed to transform traditional paper-based collection by significantly lowering time and cost for data capture and increase reliability of data from the last mile to enable critical decision making by stakeholders at all levels in healthcare delivery.  VillageReach conducted field trials of ODK Scan in Mozambique, Malawi and Pakistan.  VillageReach provided critical analysis of ODK Scan based on field trial data and recommendations for future application of the technology.  Contributing partners include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the USAID|DELIVER Project, and Mercy Corps.

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10.10 2014

I am a clinician by profession, serving a population of over 30, 000 in the 25 villages that my health center serves. I am the only clinician at the health facility with a single nurse to assist covering when possible.  We recently lost the only health surveillance assistant that was trained as a drug clerk as she has left to pursue a one and a half year course in midwifery. This leaves me as the only clinician and also the only person to manage stocks in the medicine store (pharmacy).  I undertake the majority of dispensing responsibilities as the hospital attendants that sometimes need to fill this role are not knowledgeable about medicines. When it’s month end, I am also responsible for doing the physical inventory and producing a monthly report.  Each of these tasks requires time away from my primary responsibility of treating patients. This results in less time with patients, and inadequate reporting of essential information required to manage inventory. For example, I am not sure the reports that I send are even a true representation of the situation on the ground due to the limited time I have to devote to this task.

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06.17 2014

 loveness By LOVENESS KASIYAMPHANJE                                                 Pharmacy Assistants Training Program- Class of 2015                             

My name is Loveness Kasiyamphanje. I am originally from Ntcheu, in the Central Region of Malawi, but I currently live in Namiyango in Blantyre District. I am pursuing a Certificate in Pharmacy Programme at Malawi College of Health Sciences (MCHS), Lilongwe Campus. The programme was created by VillageReach, the Malawi College of Health Sciences (MCHS) and their partners. The Programme is for two years and I am in the first year.

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03.31 2014

By CLIFFORD KANONO
VillageReach Pharmacy Assistants Program Student– Class of 2015

IMG_2681My name is Clifford Kanono.  I am enrolled in VillageReach’s Pharmacy Assistant Training Programme. Previously, I worked as a Health Surveillance Assistant in the rural communities of Nkhata Bay District in the Northern part of Malawi. The health facility I worked in had to serve about 14,500 people in a year—a large number given the resources of the facility.  This, like most other health facilities in rural communities face many challenges, but one of the most problematic is the adverse effects of non-trained pharmacy personnel:

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