Press Releases and News Featuring VillageReach

For press inquiries, please contact media@villagereach.org.


Press Release – November 29, 2021 A COVID-19 high-volume vaccination site launches in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read the English press release. Read the French press release.

Voice of America – July 30, 2021 Alinafe Kasiya is quoted in an article about Malawi’s readiness to receive and administer incoming COVID-19 vaccines. Read the article.

Press Release – June 23, 2021 The results of a phase one study exploring drones for transport of Tuberculosis (TB) and COVID-19 laboratory samples have been published. Read the English press release. Read the Portuguese press release.

Thomas Reuters Foundation – June 21, 2021 Alinafe Kasiya’s opinion about why Malawi burnt thousands of COVID-19 vaccines was published. Read the article.

Politico – May 27, 2021 Alinafe Kasiya is quoted in an article about why expired vaccine doses were discarded in Malawi. Read the article.

NPR All Things Considered – May 20, 2021 An audio segment features Alinafe Kasiya discussing his experience with delayed vaccine rollouts in Africa. Listen to the segment.

The Guardian – May 9, 2021 The Guardian quoted Emily Bancroft in an article “How harm reduction models can save US lives in the pandemic”. Read the article.

NPR Goats and Soda – May 5, 2021 An article about why some countries are discarding COVID-19 vaccine doses quotes Emily Bancroft. Read the article.

New York Times – May 5, 2021 An article about the disparity of COVID-19 response in high income vs low income countries features quotes by Freddy Nkosi and Ruth Bechtel. Read the article. 

Devex – April 17, 2021 An article summarizes a Skoll World Forum session co-hosted by VillageReach and Emerging Public Leaders “Elephant in the Room: Funder/Government Power Dynamics”. Read the article.

Devex – April 15, 2021 Alinafe Kasiya is quoted in an article about how planning for COVID-19 vaccine distribution is sometimes an afterthought. Read the article.

Axios – April 6, 2021 Freddy Nkosi is quoted in an article about COVID-19 vaccine distribution challenges. Read the article.

Washington Post – April 1, 2021 Emily Bancroft is quoted in an article about how coronavirus vaccines are finally reaching poor countries, but some can’t cover the cost of administering them. Read the article.

Voice of America – March 31, 2021 Freddy Nkosi speaks about the divide  in COVID-19 response in rural and urban communities in Africa. Read the article.

Politico – March 18, 2021 President Emily Bancroft is quoted in the article “What’s missing from the global vax rollout”. Read the article.

Devex – March 18, 2021 Global Technical Team Director Jessica Crawford and VillageReach are highlighted in a Devex article to describe lessons learned and challenges ahead in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Read the article.

Voice of America – March 7, 2021 Freddy Nkosi is interviewed for a report on Africa’s COVID-19 response. Read the article.

Geekwire – March 6, 2021 Emily Bancroft is quoted in a Devex article explaining U.S. missteps and what we can learn from successful inoculations in Africa. Read the article.

Gavi – March 3, 2021 Global Technical Team Director Jessica Crawford wrote an op-ed for Gavi on how to make sure COVID-19 vaccines reach as many people as possible. Read the blog.

TV5 Monde-Afrique – February 18, 2021 A news report highlights the launch of routine drone deliveries in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Watch the segment.

Press Release – January 29, 2021 The Democratic Republic of Congo officially launched its routine drone delivery operations to reach remote communities in the Équateur province. Reach the press release. Read the French press release.

New York Times – January 23, 2021 President Emily Bancroft is quoted in the article “In Crises, Vaccines Can Be Stretched, but Not Easily”. Read the article.


Press Release – November 24, 2020 The COVID-19 Pandemic Multi-sectoral Response (CMR) in DRC launched a dedicated hotline on WhatsApp, Alerte Santé COVID-19, in collaboration with VillageReach and Praekelt.org. Reach the press release.

NPR Goats and Soda – October 27, 2020 VillageReach and President Emily Bancroft were mentioned in an article about a Trump administration executive order limiting what is permissible to discuss in federal workplace diversity trainings. Read the article.

Devex – July 10, 2020 VillageReach was featured in a Devex article that highlighted the COVID-19 Action Fund. Read the article.

Press Release – June 26, 2020 WGHA announces VillageReach as a winner of the 2020 Pioneers of Global Health Awards for Outstanding Organization. Read the press release.

Drone Life – June 25, 2020 An opinion piece c0-authored by a VillageReach staff  member about the considerations behind using drones in the COVID-19 response was published by Drone Life. Read the article.

Malawi Government – February 28, 2020 VillageReach and the Malawi Ministry of Health and Population were recognized by His Excellency Peter Mutharika, President of Malawi. Chipatala cha pa Foni was recognized as a Driver of Transformative Initiatives in Malawi.

Card Rates News – January 27, 2020 VillageReach was featured on CardRates.com, including an interview with president Emily Bancroft. Read the article. 


Press Release – December 17, 2019 In Equateur province, Democratic Republic of Congo, Parliamentarians have taken bold steps to commit to sustainable health financing. Read the press release.

Announcement – December 10, 2019 VillageReach announces new board members. Read the announcement.

Skoll Foundation Spotlight – November 21, 2019 Program manager Upile Kachila reflects on some of the biggest lessons learned from the CCPF transition to government. Read the article.

Press Release -Puget Sound Business Journal – October 25, 2019 VillageReach was recognized as one of Washington’s most equitable workplaces. Read the list. Read the press release.

Upworthy & Good – September 11, 2019 The story of the drone flights in Democratic Republic of Congo is shared, including a video of the drone taking off. Read the article.

Kiro Radio – August 27, 2019 President Emily Bancroft talks with Dave Ross from Kiro Radio on the history of VillageReach and its collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Swoop Aero and Gavi to use drones to deliver vaccines and medicine to a rural clinic in DRC. Listen to the news segment.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance – August 27, 2019 A video was produced that showcased the work of the drone delivery of vaccines to a rural clinic in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Watch the video.

The Medium – August 27, 2019 Olivier Defawe published an op-ed about experiencing the vaccine delivery by drone in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the importance of collaboration. Read the article.

UAS Weekly – August 12, 2019 A collaboration including the Ministry of Health, VillageReach and Swoop Aero, and with funding by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has vaccinated the first children receiving vaccines by drone in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Read the article.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance – August 12, 2019 Freddy Nkosi, Senior Manager of Advocacy and Program Communications, was interviewed about the importance of drone flights in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read the interview.

Infosalus – August 9, 2019 A collaboration between VillageReach, the Ministry of Health, Swoop Aero, and funding by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance saw the delivery of vaccines by drone in Democratic Republic of Congo. Read the article (Spanish).

AllAfrica – August 9, 2019 The drone flight press release was posted on AllAfrica.com. Read the press release.

Commercial Drone Weekly – August 9, 2019 A collaboration between VillageReach, the Ministry of Health, Swoop Aero, and funding by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance saw a fleet of drones transported vaccines, syringes and medicines to a hard-to-reach village called Widjifake in Democratic Republic of the Congo. Read the article.

Puget Sound Business Journal – August 9, 2019 President Emily Bancroft was interviewed about the drone flights in DRC that delivered vaccines to a rural clinic. Read the article.

Actualite – August 8, 2019 An article details the drone flights in Democratic Republic of the Congo that delivered vaccines and other health commodities to a rural clinic. Read the article.

Geekwire – August 8, 2019 The collaboration between VillageReach, the Ministry of Health, Swoop Aero and funding by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance was reported on, including an interview with Drones for Health lead Olivier Defawe. Read the article.

Press Release – August 8, 2019 A successful collaboration between the Ministry of Health, VillageReach and Swoop Aero, and with funding by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, saw a drone fleet transport vaccines to immunize children in remote health facilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read the press release.

AP Congo – August 7, 2019 The drone flights in DRC have successfully transported vaccines which is an exciting innovation given the many rivers and lack of roads in Équateur province. Read the article (French).

Gavi.org – July 26, 2019 VillageReach was selected as a Gavi INFUSE Pacesetters for 2019. Read the article.

Mail & Guardian – July 18, 2019 The Health Systems Entrepreneurship project shared VillageReach’s framework on how to manage the transition from social solutions to government ownership in order to highlight why sharing best practices between health organizations is key to promoting collaboration. Read the article.

Stanford Social Innovation Review – June 24, 2019  Bvudzai Magadzire, Melissa West, Emily Lawrence, Julia Guerette & Barbara Jones-Singer wrote a framework for nonprofit and private-sector organizations working to transfer the implementation of their solutions to government agencies. Read the article.

Obama Foundation Leaders- 2019: Bvudzai Magadzire, the Senior Technical Advisor for Research and Advocacy in South Africa, was selected to join the 2019 class of the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa Program. She is one of 200 leaders selected from more than 7,000 applicants across the continent. Read the press release.

World Bank Blog- June 10, 2019 Communications Director Melissa West wrote an article published on the WBB website about reasons to invest in health for the excluded. Read the Article.

Forbes – April 22, 2019 President Emily Bancroft shares her path to CEO and three ways for women to begin their journey to their own leadership positions. Read the article.

Cyclone Idai Update – March 31, 2019 Vice President Patrick Sikana provides an update on relief efforts and VillageReach’s response. Read the update.

Press Release – March 30, 2019 VillageReach and MaiKhanda Trust announced that MaiKhanda will assume responsibility for the Kwitanda Community Health Project (KCHP) in the Balaka district of Malawi. Read the press release.

Cyclone Idai Relief Support – March 22, 2019 President Emily Bancroft provides an overview of relief efforts in the wake of Cyclone Idai, and ways to support. Read the update.

CASE in Point Podcast – March 6, 2019 President Emily Bancroft shares her personal journey, the history of VillageReach and lessons on government partnerships learned along the way. Listen to the podcast here.

Crosscut – February 1, 2019 In light of Washington’s measles epidemic, President Emily Bancroft shares four ways Washington can learn from Africa’s vaccination programs. Read the article here.


Elsevier: Vaccine Journal – December 19, 2018 Ruth Bechtel, Mozambique country director, and colleagues examine how microneedle patch (MNP) technology may provide additional benefits beyond the point-of-use, particularly for vaccine supply chains. Read the article here.

The British Medical Journal – December 7, 2018 Carla Blauvelt, country director, and colleagues describe a multisectoral collaboration that enabled the scale up of Chipatala cha pa Foni (CCPF) – Health Center by Phone – service and its transition to government in Malawi. Read the article.

Announcement – October 17, 2018 Patrick Sikana named as vice president of VillageReach. Read the announcement.

Announcement – October 17, 2018 Craig Usswald hired as director, supply chain. Read the announcement.

Stanford Social Innovation Review – September 27, 2018  This story was written by Emily Bancroft and highlights six lessons in sustainable impact for NGO leaders based on the VillageReach work in DRC.  Read the story.

Scaling Pathways – September 26, 2018 VillageReach featured in Scaling Pathways, “Leveraging Government Partnerships for Scaled Impact.” Read the paper.

VOA Africa – August 2, 2018 Highlights the positive impact CCPF has in increased care for maternal health in Malawi. Watch the story.

Press Release – July 15, 2018 WGHA announces VillageReach and Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands as winners of the 2018 Pioneers of Global Health Awards for Outstanding Collaboration. Read the press release.

CGTN Africa – July 13, 2018 Highlights CCPF and its role in improving access to health information in Malawi. Watch the story.

Seattle Met – May 22, 2018 VillageReach Goes the Last Mile. Read the story.

Announcement – May 22, 2018 USAID awards VillageReach $14.7 million for Last Mile Supply Chain Project. Read the announcement.

The Financial Post – April 20, 2018  Insights from the Skoll World Forum, VillageReach’s Alinafe Kasiya highlighted. Read the article.

Press Release – April 14, 2018 The Malawi Ministry of Health notifies the public of humanitarian drone flights beginning on April 18, 2018. Read the press release.

Skoll Perspectives – March 26, 2018  From Theirs to Ours: Proximity and the Power of Relationship by Alinafe Kasiya, Malawi Country Director.  Read the blog.

Press Release – February 2, 2018  The Malawi Ministry of Health Announces Nationwide Expansion of CCPF.  Read the press release.

The Skoll Foundation- January 2018  Sustainable Health Solutions for the Last Mile: VillageReach Builds Them and Lets Them Go. Read the story.


Announcement- December 6, 2017 Emily Bancroft Named President of VillageReach. Read the announcement.

Madison Park Living Magazine – November 2017– VillageReach profiled for “Making a Difference” feature. Read the article.

Press Release- November 2, 2017  VillageReach selected as a recipient of Bull City Learning  Next Generation Immunization Training Grants.  Read the press release.

People that Deliver – September 2017 Combatting pharmacy personnel shortages in Malawi. Read the article. 

Announcement- August 24, 2017  VillageReach announces President transition. Read the announcement.

The Fullest-  July 25, 2017  VILLAGEREACH: SERVICING AFRICA’S LAST MILE  Read the article.

Press Release – May 2, 2017 The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship launch a new report: Beyond Organizational Scale: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Systems Change Read the Press Release

Announcement – March 2, 2017 OpenLMIS announces the launch of OpenLMIS version 3, an open source logistics management information system (LMIS). Read the Announcement

Announcement – February 28, 2017 VillageReach expands work in social enterprise with the addition of the Med25  program.  Read the Announcement


Press Release – October 14th, 2016 VillageReach Wins DREAMS Innovation Challenge. Read the Press Release

Seattle Crain’s – October 6th, 2016 A Mortuary Makes a Kenyan Health Clinic Sustainable. Read the article

Next Billion Blog – August 10th, 2016 Outsourcing Transport and Logistics in Global Health. Read the Blog

Press ReleaseJuly 18th, 2016 PEPFAR and DREAMS Partners Announce winners of the $85 Million DREAMS Innovation Challenge Read the Press Release

Press Release – July 26th, 2016 Airtel Boosts Healthcare Access with Chiptala Cha Pa Foni. Read the full Press Release

Global Washington – July 19th, 2016 Evan Simpson featured as a Changemaker in July 2016 Newsletter. Read the Article

Forbes – June 30th, 2016 The Next New Frontier For Drones: Saving LivesRead the Article 

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Press Release – June 21st, 2016 Drones Could Be Cheaper Alternative To Delivering Vaccines in Developing World. Read the full Press Release

Press Release – June 13th, 2016  VillageReach names Evan Simpson as its new President. Read the Press Release 

GeekWire  – May 6th, 2016  VillageReach Malawi Country Director Carla Blauvelt and VillageReach Vice President Emily Bancroft discuss the use of UAVs in overcoming barriers in healthcare delivery. Read the Article

Press Release-January 15th, 2016  VillageReach President Allen Wilcox will attend the 2016 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland Read the Press Release


VillageReach Optimizes Healthcare Data Collection- November 21, 2015 Insights into ODK Scan, Interview with VillageReach Technology Associate Rachel Powers Read the Article

Africa’s largest mobile carrier partners with VillageReach to expand and enhance mHealth servicesNovember 5th 2014 Airtel’s CCPF To Merge with Dial-a-Doctor Read the Press Release

The World Bank Development Marketplace- July 21, 2015 Bridging the public-private divide to scale-up health solutions: the story of VillageReach Read the Article

Press Release-June 19th, 2015  New Pharmacy Assistants Graduate in Malawi, Improving Patient Care at Critically Understaffed Rural Health Centers Read the Press Release

Press Release- March 27th, 2015 VillageReach President Invited to Schwab Foundation and Harvard Kennedy School First-Ever Executive Education Course for Late-Stage Social Entrepreneurs:  “The Art and Science of System Change” Read the Press Release

Press Release- March 19, 2015 VillageReach announces the launch of its new website. Read Press Release

Press Release- February 17, 2015  Agence de Médecine Préventive (AMP), with Technical Support of VillageReach, Launches Système Informatisé d’Information de la Gestion Logistique (SIIGL) Read Press Release

Press Release- February 3, 2015 Nexmo and VillageReach Provide Aide to Young Women and Expecting Mothers in Malawi via SMS Text and Voice  Read the Press Release


Press Release- December 18, 2014 New Google grant to fund Nexleaf and VillageReach expanded implementation of ColdTrace to get life-saving vaccines to children in Mozambique. Read Press Release

Huffington Post- December 2014, A Relief for Rural Health WorkersRead the Blog

Press Release –  November 3, 2014  VillageReach Receives $1.8 Million from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation To Expand Vaccine Delivery Initiative.  Read Press Release

Press Release- October 13, 2014   New Grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund VillageReach and University of Washington ODK Scan.  Read Press Release

The Guardian – April 28, 2014 Melinda Gates on the Nine Players Changing the Vaccine Game Melinda Gates acknowledged Margarida and VillageReach as a top global vaccine innovator.  Read the article.

Huffington Post – April 2014 Start at the Last Mile to Overcome barriers to healthcare delivery. Read the Blog by Allen Wilcox.

Press Release – March 24, 2014 VillageReach President Allen Wilcox Named Schwab Foundation Entrepreneur of the Year. Read Press Release

GSMA Blog – February 2014  A Symbol of mHealth in Malawi: Her Name is Promise Read the post.

Mashable – January 2014 Tiny Call Center Provides Health Services to 200,000 People Read the article.

Voice of America – January 2014 Malawi Uses Mobile Phones to Promote Maternal Health  Read the article.


Wired UK – December 2013 Bill Gates named Margarida Matsinhe from VillageReach as “one emerging talent whose ideas or influence will soon be part of our lives. Read the article.

Press Release –  June 18, 2013 VillageReach Announces Final 20 Project – Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Awards Grant to Improve Vaccine Delivery in Mozambique.  Read Press Release

Press Release – January 30, 2013 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Announces Winner of 2013 Gates Vaccine Innovation Award – Margarida Matsinhe recognized for her work making vaccines available to more children in Mozambique  Read Press Release

South Africa’s National Health Insurance (NHI) Will Benefit the Entire Region – August 30, 2013  Trevor Mundel, President of Global Health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses VillageReach, Africa & healthcare access. Read the article.

PBS NewsHour Story: Maternal Health Hotline Helps Malawians Stay Connected – April 26, 2013  Our CCPF program in Malawi is covered in a piece on the value of mobile technologies for health. See the Story


Press Release – September 25, 2012   VillageReach, the Barr Foundation and the University of Washington Collaborate on New Three-year Program to Improve Supply Chain for Essential Medicines Read Press Release

GAVI Newsletter: The Civil Society Dose – December 2012  Case Study: Illuminating the last mile Read the article.

GAVI Newsletter: The Civil Society Dose – May 2012  Case Study: Improving Vaccine Logistics in Mozambique Read the article.


Press Release – October 5, 2011  VillageReach will serve as a specialized resource partner for the USAID-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program implemented by MSH  Read Press Release

Press Release – June 2011 VillageReach Board of Directors Member Dr. Michael Free Named to Order of the British Empire Read Press Release

National Bureau of Asian Research – November 2011  Matching Realism with Aspiration – NBR Interviews Emily Bancroft on key considerations for applying technology to Global Health. Read the article.

Puget Sound Business Journal – October 28, 2011  Nonprofits Debate Merits of Admitting Failure – VillageReach is featured in this story on the benefits of transparency and reporting on mistakes. Read the article.


Puget Sound Business Journal – April 22, 2010  Nonprofit revenue model evolves – In the current edition of the Puget Sound Business Journal, subscribers can read my story on Seattle-based VillageReach and the nonprofit’s new information management system that is aimed at helping global health groups better manage supply chains for health clinics. Read the article.

Puget Sound Business Journal – April 16, 2010  VillageReach nonprofit rolls out supply-chain management system – Despite recent gains in global health research and development, a local nonprofit says health care systems still face a significant bottleneck in how they deliver services and commodities to the world’s poor. Read the article.


University of Washington Newsletter – A&S Perspectives, December 2009  Ensuring That Health Care Reaches “The Last Mile” – Craig Nakagawa (‘89), armed with an MBA and experience at Lehman Brothers and Teledesic, co-founded VillageReach, an NGO aimed at improving health care distribution systems in the most distant reaches of developing countries, beginning with Mozambique. Read the article.

University of Washington – Columns, November 2, 2009  Working Globally – As a cofounder of Seattle-based VillageReach, Craig Nakagawa values the UW as a resource for partnering on research and reaching talented students.  Read the article.

Seattle Times, September 2, 2009 Fremont nonprofit delivers vaccines and energy to world’s remote areas – VillageReach, a tiny nonprofit in Fremont, blends technology and entrepreneurship to deliver vaccines and energy to some of the least-developed areas in the world.  Read the article.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy, September 1, 2009  Social Business Wins Big Investment – VillageReach, a nonprofit organization in Seattle, took a novel approach to trying to improve the health of people living in remote areas of Northern Mozambique. It started a propane-distribution company.  Read the article.

Seattle Times, September 1, 2009  VillageReach fuels change in global health delivery – VillageReach has figured how to get health care into the heart of remote communities that others haven’t managed to reach — the so-called “last mile” — and pay for it with a for-profit energy business.  Read the article.


Chicago Booth Magazine, September 28, 2007  2007 Distinguished Alumni Awards: Craig Nakagawa, ’97 – Craig Nakagawa, ’97, left Wall Street to travel coach to Africa to get money from Bill Gates to bring vaccines to Mozambique.  Read the Article.


Newsweek, July 25, 2005  Blaise Judja-Sato– A Wharton M.B.A. Brings Basic Health Care to the Poor of Rural Mozambique.  Read the article.


Forbes, September 6, 2004  The Last Mile – Blaise Judja-Sato had a nice job selling telecom services–until he saw what the lack of vaccines was doing to the poor in Mozambique.  Read the article.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer, April 13, 2004  Propane powers vaccine program – Former telecom executive hits upon unlikely business pairing to improve African children’s health care.  Read the article.

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