VillageReach: Taking Healthcare the Last Mile
Healthier people in Sub-Saharan Africa
Go the last mile: put high performance logistical systems in place to make sure that vaccines, drugs and supplies get all the way to the remote clinics millions of people depend on
How it works
- Assess the logistical needs of a public health system
- Specify changes in infrastructure and logistics
- Supply the systems and tools necessary to support the changes
- Implement with the Ministry of Health (MoH)
- MoH takes over with ongoing technical assistance from VillageReach
How it will go to scale
Via governments. VillageReach designs and implements projects in partnership with regional and national governments, and hands over the reins once capacity is built.
Progress so far
Scale up: Building on the pilot project in Cabo Delgado, vaccine logistics management systems are rolling out to 400 clinics across 4 provinces in Mozambique, serving over 5 million people. In Malawi, they are piloting a cell-phone based system designed to increase the reach and impact of maternal and child health services based in rural clinics.
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Imagine walking five miles to the nearest health clinic with your son or daughter in tow,
only to find that it doesn’t have the vaccinations or medications your child needs. This is the reality for the majority of people in rural sub-Saharan Africa. VillageReach improves the quality of and access to health care, especially for families living in rural communities. From 2002 to 2007 VillageReach implemented a pilot program in the Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique that covered 100 health centers and a population of 1.65 million. The results were spectacular – the number of fully immunized children went from roughly 69% to 95%. VillageReach is now implementing the program in three more provinces, reaching an additional 4 million people. They are also engaged with health systems in Malawi, Senegal, and Tanzania. Going the last mile with VillageReach could save many more of the millions who’ve been left behind.
A compelling problem
Most preventable deaths occur in poor rural areas of developing countries. A big factor is the inability of Ministries of Health to reliably get vaccines, medical supplies and information to rural community clinics and the people they serve.
A scalable solution
Mulago assesses scalability based on five characteristics common to efforts that have taken lasting impact to scale.
Real impact: VillageReach tailors impact measurement to each project. For the Mozambique vaccination evaluation they completed a cluster sample survey, a methodology developed for the World Health Organization. In the Cabo Delgado pilot project the child immunization rate went from 69% to 95%. Vaccine stock- outs went from 80% to l%.
Cost-effective: As the program scales throughout Mozambique the donor cost per additional fully immunized child is expected to be US$10-$20.
Lasting behavior: If rural health providers deliver reliable service in a well-managed system, parents will bring their kids in.
Easy replication: The systematic VillageReach model is integrated into MoH programs from the very beginning, and the basic platform is an open source MIS software system that is broadly adaptable across settings with similar problems.
A viable route to scale: Governments control the delivery of the vast majority of health care in the developing world. VillageReach helps government systems deliver.
Capacity to deliver
The CEO, Allen Wilcox, is a former Microsoft executive who supported Microsoft’s international expansion and developed innovative distribution channels for
Microsoft products. Since joining VillageReach, Allen has assembled an impressive management and technical team and put the organization on the path to expansion. This team is now executing a roll-out of the vaccine delivery work in Mozambique and piloting new tools and solutions in other countries. VillageReach is now recognized as a leader in the last mile delivery of healthcare.
updated June 2012