|2009 in Review
Notes from the President
Plane travel is always a useful time to reflect on past events and plan for the future. So, on my way home from presentations in Zaragoza, Spain and Geneva, I find myself with plenty of time to look back on the tremendous growth VillageReach has experienced this past year.
A quick summary includes expanding our reach in India, Nigeria, South Africa and Senegal and developing new tools to enhance our last-mile logistics solutions. Closer to home, in San Francisco we presented our social business model at the annual Social Capital Markets; we previewed new innovations of our Management Information System (vrMIS) at the Public Health Information Network Conference in Atlanta; profiled VillageReach at the annual US-Africa Business Summit in Washington D.C.; and provided the findings of our cost-benefit analysis at the Mozambique government’s national meeting. To finish off this successful year we were recently honored as one of 15 laureates at the annual Tech Awards in San Francisco, in recognition of vrMIS.
After many hours of meetings and plenty of plane trips, I am pleased to report that we are creating real change. Our focus, reaching those in remote communities through innovative approaches, has become front and center in many discussions around the world.
As the year comes to a close, I would also like to highlight one of the most inspiring events of the year, an amazing outreach from supporters that have made this work possible. This past year we have experienced an 800% increase in contributions from individuals, many as a result of our top rating from GiveWell
. These donations ensure that we can continue to reach those most in need. The entire staff at VillageReach is so appreciative of your confidence in our work. With your continued support VillageReach is looking ahead to a very exciting year.
Thank you and best wishes to you and your family for the holidays.
Saving Lives and Saving Money
VillageReach recently completed a study of the costs of its work in rural Mozambique in comparison with government-run systems. The study complements an independent impact assessment of VillageReach’s last mile support for the government initiative “Project to Support PAV.” The objective of the cost study was to determine the incremental costs of our vaccine logistics system to enable the Mozambique government and the global health community to evaluate it for future additional programs. Key findings from the study include:
• The VillageReach vaccine logistics solution is significantly more efficient than traditional vaccine distribution systems. The dedicated vaccine logistics system was 21% less expensive per vaccine dose delivered than the control system: $1.18 vs. $1.50 per dose.
• The VillageReach solution allocates more expenses to the actual cost of vaccines rather than to the distribution system. In the control system, the purchase cost of vaccines and syringes comprised only 46% of total distribution system expenses. In the VillageReach system, vaccines and syringes totaled 61% of the vaccine logistics system expenses.
Updates from the Kwitanda Community Health Program
With a population of 14 million, more than 80% of whom live in rural areas, Malawi has one of the highest population densities and infant mortality rates in Africa. Malawi has high rates of infectious diseases, including hepatitis A, typhoid fever, and malaria. As much as 15% of the country's population is living with HIV/AIDS.
In 2008, VillageReach began the Kwitanda Community Health Program. Led by our project manager, Patrick Phiri, this program has yielded some significant results in 2009, including:
Malaria prevention- purchased and distributed more than 3,500 mosquito nets to 50 vulnerable communities;
Health worker training- provided training for health workers covering a population of 25,00 in sanitation techniques, child growth monitoring, and vaccination;
Reduction in diarrheal disease- repaired boreholes to provide more than 2,000 community members with access to safe drinking water and trained health workers in cholera response and treatment; and
Health center capacity improvements- strengthened remote health center services by standardizing maintenance procedures and replacing equipment, including vaccine refrigerators and medical equipment.