|VillageReach Update - 2013 Year in Review
Greetings from the VillageReach Team …
Time always seems to accelerate as we approach year-end; this year is no exception. As many of you know, our focus of Starting at the Last Mile orients our work and your support to increasing access to quality healthcare for the most underserved communities. Like you, we believe access to quality healthcare for children, mothers and their families is a right to which every human is entitled. Yet it remains out of reach for millions of children and their families. We are, however, encouraged with our recent progress and very enthusiastic as we look ahead to 2014.
First, let me recognize the wisdom, strength of purpose and commitment to equality of Nelson Mandela and honor his inspiring life. As we note on our website, President Mandela and his wife Graça Machel visited Seattle 14 years ago this month. From that visit was born a vision for what became VillageReach, established the following year. Since that time, President Mandela and Ms. Machel have been honorary board members of VillageReach. We are very proud of this association and will continue to pursue the right to healthcare, a key element of the right to equality President Mandela championed his entire life.
In many respects, the past year has been the most formative for VillageReach since its founding. In the past 12 months we have been recognized by a growing number of ministries of health, technical partners, and funders, for our system innovations that address critical last mile healthcare delivery challenges, as well as, our determination to see these innovations scaled and sustained.
A few highlights from our work in 2013
… the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recognized our work to improve vaccine distribution with new support to streamline vaccine distribution and reach all children, including those who live in the most remote areas.
… Tanzania and Zambia deployed a new open source logistics management information system developed by VillageReach in collaboration with leading global health organizations to better manage the flow of all medical commodities across both nations.
… the Malawi Pharmacy Assistant Program enrolled its first class of 50 students. Half of this class has since been deployed to district hospitals for practical learning; 100 additional students will enter the two-year training program in 2014.
… we worked on a pilot in Mozambique using the ODK Scan mobile data collection application developed by VillageReach and the University of Washington to capture the logistics information collected by community health workers so these workers always have the life-saving medicines and supplies for their patients.
… we expanded the Chipatala cha pa Foni / Health Center by Phone program in Malawi, quadrupling the number of communities with access to life-saving advice, information and referrals for pregnant women and mothers with young children.
… we partnered with the African-based mobile carrier Vodacom, with support from the GAVI Alliance, to implement a mobile application for registering child vaccination data as well as health center stock data in Mozambique.
… and Margarida Matsinhe, VillageReach’s Field Officer in Maputo province, Mozambique was selected as the 2013 recipient of the Gates Vaccine Innovation Award.
Of course with this progress comes greater need for support. While we have been able to attract additional funding for our work, this support does not cover all of VillageReach’s costs to develop, test and refine new system innovations. I hope you will continue to follow our progress and support our work. Please visit here to make a tax-deductible donation.
On behalf of our entire team, we wish all of you and your families the very best for the holiday season.
Allen D. Wilcox