Where We Work  |  Program

Pharmacy Assistant Program

In 2013, VillageReach began an 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 program ended in 2019.

May 8, 2019   |   Blog Post

Changes at the Drugstore

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,...

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Jun 1, 2018   |   Blog Post

Getting Up To Speed: The Pharmacy Assistant Mentorship Program

Mbang’ombe 1 Health Center is in the back yard of Lilongwe International Airport. In terms of access to quality health services however, the facility might as well be far from Lilongwe. At approximately 50 km from the Lilongwe District Health Office and Central Medical...

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Nov 30, 2017   |   Blog Post

Keeping Cool: A New Partnership with Bull City Learning

Vaccines are extremely sensitive to temperature. They must remain between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius in order to remain viable. Outside of this temperature range, vaccines become less effective at preventing diseases. Because of this, the storage and handling of vaccines need careful attention....

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Aug 17, 2016   |   Blog Post

Waiting: Discovering and Addressing Inefficiencies in Malawi

One hundred and thirty minutes. That’s just over two hours. It’s a long time to wait to see a doctor no matter where you are in the world. Then after waiting for two hours, patients talk to a healthcare provider for less than 2 minutes –...

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Aug 5, 2016   |   Blog Post

When Health Workers Need a Helpline

Malawi has made incredible strides over the past few years to reduce morbidity and mortality, specifically among women and children under 5 years old. Key to this success has been a focus on using community health workers, known in Malawi as Health Surveillance Assistants...

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Jun 23, 2016   |   Blog Post

Graduated Success: When Programs Leave the Nest

Graduation season is upon us. It’s a time of reflection for those about to embark on a new phase of their lives. For many this means entering the workforce for the first time, a pivotal life moment.  At VillageReach, we recently celebrated the graduation...

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May 2, 2016   |   Blog Post

Your Support: Reaching More with CCPF

Donor support and new partners like  Johnson & Johnson will help expand and enhance CCPF in the coming year. We are pleased to announce that Johnson & Johnson Corporate Contributions has become one of the key partners in championing Chipitala Cha Pa Foni (CCPF) as it advances towards...

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Dec 22, 2015   |   Blog Post

The Role of Paper to Digital Data Solutions

In response to this article by Dr. Mahad Ibrahim on the role of data during the Ebola outbreak, some interesting questions were sparked among our team. The piece evoked a lot of great insights about the opportunities and challenges the piece addresses, as well as...

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Aug 13, 2015   |   Blog Post

Pemphero’s Story – A Day in the Life of a Health Surveillance Assistant

As a Community Health Facilitator for VillageReach in Malawi, I see the impact of Community Case Management (CMM), a strategy that promotes the early care-seeking behavior, assessment, diagnosis, recognition, and appropriate treatment for childhood illnesses at the community-level. Over the last few years, CCM...

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Feb 9, 2015   |   Blog Post

Smartphone App to Improve Health Assessments of Women and Children in Rural Villages

VillageReach, in collaboration with D-tree, is proud to announce the implementation of a new mHealth application in Malawi. What an exciting partnership! During the first week of February 2015, 25 health surveillance assistants (HSAs), nurses and other health workers in Balaka District received intensive...

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Dec 4, 2014   |   Blog Post

Making Sense of Maternal and Child Mortality

The Role of Data Collection and One Community’s Path Toward Change While working on the Kwitanda Community Health Project (KCHP), based in the Kwitanda catchment area, Balaka District, in southern Malawi, I have seen firsthand how critical the role of data collection is to improving...

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Oct 10, 2014   |   Blog Post

A Relief for Rural Health Workers

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...

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Jun 17, 2014   |   Blog Post

My Journey to the Pharmacy Assistants Training Program

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

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Mar 31, 2014   |   Blog Post

The Best Remedy

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

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Jan 13, 2014   |   Blog Post

How a Phone Call Saved a Life

A frontline perspective of the CCPF “Health Center by Phone” Program When I trained as a midwife, I had no idea that I would be helping deliver babies over the phone. Technology has come a long way, especially in the district of Balaka in...

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Having a skilled health care workforce is a critical component of strong health systems. VillageReach, in collaboration with partners introduced The Pharmacy Assistant Training Program in Malawi in 2013. This program was a two-year certificate-level training program focused on improving medicines management and pharmaceutical practice in over 650 health facilities in Malawi. The program included:


  • Two five-month practicums in between classroom-based learning
  • Training on safely dispensing medicines and advising patients
  • Training on inventory management to ensure continuous access to health products 


Fact Sheet  |  2023

Building a Pipeline of Supply Chain Professionals through Education: Malawi

Report  |  2019

Impact Assessment of Pharmacy Assistant Graduates in Malawi

Fact Sheet  |  2019

Poster: Impact Assessment of Pharmacy Assistant Graduates

Fact Sheet  |  2019

Pharmacy Assistant Training Program Overview

Research  |  2016

Examination of Patient Flow in a Rural Health Center in Malawi

Report  |  2016

Pharmacy Assistant Program Year Three Report

Research  |  2016

Fostering the use of quasi-experimental designs for evaluating public health interventions: insights from an mHealth project in Malawi

Research  |  2015

Introducing an enhanced cadre of pharmacy assistants to improve dispensing, management, and availability of medicines

Report  |  2015

ODK Scan in Malawi Final Field Test Report

USAID and VillageReach Data Burden Study image

Tool  |  2015

Decreasing the Data Burden at the Last Mile to Improve Data Management and Use for Stronger Pharmaceutical Systems

Research  |  2014

Introducing an enhanced cadre of pharmacy assistants to improve dispensing, management, and availability of medicines at the health centre level in Malawi

Tool  |  2014

Barr Foundation From Local to Global

Global Health: Science and Practice

Research  |  2014

SMS versus voice messaging to deliver MNCH communication in rural Malawi: assessment of delivery success and user experience

Research  |  2014

SMS versus voice messaging to deliver MNCH communication in rural Malawi: assessment of delivery success and user experience

Report  |  2012

Pharmacy & Supply Chain Strengthening Program

This program serves a great need in the community, and it has helped me, providing education and job opportunities. I love my job.


Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Program Impact



  • The Malawi Ministry of Health and Population

Technical Partners

  • University of Washington Global Medicines Program
  • Malawi College of Health and Sciences


  • Barr Foundation
  • Vitol Foundation
  • USAID’s Global Health Supply Chain– Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) project

Related Global Impact

See the latest updates from our work to improve access to quality healthcare in the world’s most underserved communities.

Supply Chain for Community Health Workers in Kenya

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mHealth Roadmap: Architecture and Design

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Medicines for Malaria Venture SMS Project

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Integrated Logistics System Assessment

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