Today in Mozambique, one of our core countries, the first COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Maputo. Health workers are first priority to receive the vaccines; but it still comes nearly 72 days after the first U.S. health workers received their shots.

President Nyusi proudly announced on his Facebook page:

“I would like to share with the Mozambican people arriving in the country this afternoon Wednesday, February 24th, the first batch of the vaccine. With the arrival of this lot, our challenge continues to ensure that other doses are coming, the negotiations are at an advanced stage with our partners.”

While the…

Community Health Workers (CHWs) are often the only link to primary health care services in under-reached communities around the world. This is the finale in a series (see part one ) that shows how strengthening supply chains supports CHWs, known as Community Health Assistants (CHAs) in Liberia, by making health products available, so they can deliver essential care to their communities.

Follow the journey to see how health products eventually end up in the hands of CHWs.

*Some of the photos in this story were taken before the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up in Liberia.*

Community Health Workers receive health supplies…

In Liberia, Community Health Workers (CHWs) are often the only link to primary health care services for the most under-reached communities. To support them, the Liberia Ministry of Health, Last Mile Health and VillageReach are working together to make sure they have access to essential medicines for their communities. This photo essay is the first half in a two-part series showing how supplies arrive to CHWs, or Community Health Assistants as they are known in Liberia, in three counties that benefit from the Supply Chain for Community Health Workers program.

Read on to see where the distribution process begins for…

By Tapiwa Mukwashi and Brittney Varpilah

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Even with the pandemic, essential medicine distribution to Community Health Assistants continues in Grand Gedeh County, Liberia. | Photo Credit: James Kologbay

In rural and remote communities around the world, people have to walk for hours or even days to reach the nearest clinic to access services and medicines, which may not even be available when they arrive. A people-centered health system looks beyond health facilities to move vital health products more directly to people, wherever they live. Last Mile Health and VillageReach share a commitment to ensuring every person can access the health care they need — no matter where they live.

Why Community Health Workers

Community health workers are recruited from their own community…

A pharmacy assistant in Mozambique reviews a vaccine delivery to a health center. Credit: Paul Joseph Brown
A pharmacy assistant in Mozambique reviews a vaccine delivery to a health center. Credit: Paul Joseph Brown
A woman reviews a vaccine delivery to a health center. Credit: Paul Joseph Brown.

It is hard to believe that we are coming up on a year of the battle against COVID-19. And 53M cases later, globally, we are starting to see promising results from one of many vaccines in the race — a Pfizer experimental vaccine shown to be 90 percent effective. So now, the world’s attention has shifted to preparing for future vaccines — including the huge undertaking to maks Bill Gates laid out in a he world first needs three things: the capacity to produce billions of vaccine doses, the funding to pay for them, and…

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Sena Kwawu, VillageReach board member, has spent his career focusing on operational excellence, from leading Six Sigma/LEAN organizations, running risk management at an insurance firm, being on the executive team overseeing global coffee supply chains at Starbucks, to managing operations at Frontdoor, Inc, a US-based home services business. This week, he shared his private sector expertise as a plenary speaker at the , a gathering of immunization professionals from around the world committed to strengthening immunization services.

The takeaway? We must think creatively to overcome the challenges of maintaining existing immunization services and introducing a new vaccine all…

You may have heard the saying, “no products, no programs,” but for those who work in public health during COVID-19, the saying has become “no PPE, no programs.” And for community health workers (CHWs) who play a vital role in providing health care services to their communities, they face the danger of “no PPE, no safety.”

Why CHWs are At-Risk

Worldwide of personal protective equipment (PPE) have led to increased COVID-19 infections amongst health workers; and in Africa, infections have increased by since late May. Community health workers are more likely to bear the brunt of PPE…

Few people doubt that innovations from outside the public sector can help governments address myriad social problems. What is much less clear is the pathway for ensuring that promising innovations are sustained at scale. As Africa Regional Advisor for Health Innovation at WHO, Dr. Moredreck Chibi is helping light the innovation path for the 47 member states in the Africa region.

Dr. Chibi shared his views during a dialogue led by Catalyst 2030, a global movement of social change innovators working to accelerate achievement of the SDGs. …

Patrick Sikana, VillageReach Vice President

Listening, learning and adjusting — this has been our method of operation since the last time about our COVID-19 response. Our priorities have evolved and it has been a balance of internal capacity, imperative continuity and the need for the complementarity against the context of a complex and fluid pandemic. For this reason, we have to optimize as we go to make sure we remain relevant to the coronavirus response. However, there are four fundamental blocks that informed our prioritization model, and these will remain constant.

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Our four areas of…

Emily Bancroft, VillageReach President

When I last reached out to all of you, I felt like we were in the middle of a sprint. A sprint to mitigate the impact that COVID-19 could have on the people and the health systems in the communities where we work across sub-Saharan Africa. To make sure our staff are safe and healthy in locations where they could stay for the foreseeable futures as borders closed. To ensure we can financially support the work that we have committed to as well as the new demands and needs. To figure out what working from home…


VillageReach transforms health care delivery to reach everyone.

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