Key program components include:
Improving service infrastructure. VillageReach improves service infrastructure by implementing a management information system to manage data processing, introducing an effective waste management system, outfitting health centers with alternative energy sources (such as propane-powered lamps and burners), providing radios to facilitate communication with the Ministry of Health and district hospitals, and providing bicycles and motorcycles for community outreach.
Supply chain management. VillageReach improves the overall functioning of the health system’s supply chain by tracking medical supplies to limit waste, improving forecasting and reporting throughout the entire supply chain, managing inventory, and maintaining equipment.
Community and health worker support. VillageReach supports community health workers by introducing supportive supervision and ongoing training at all levels of the health system. As part of this strategy, VillageReach introduces proper protocols and procedures for all staff and conducts trainings for logistics officers and pharmacists.
Data analysis. VillageReach recognizes that medical logistics and delivery systems require reliable data to make informed decisions and ensure quality services. In Mozambique, VillageReach implemented a system to track vaccine stockouts and engaged field staff in useful data analysis.
Social businesses. VillageReach establishes for-profit businesses that create positive social impact by filling critical infrastructure gaps. These businesses are not health care specific (such as propane providers and restaurants), but may be linked to the health system through contractual agreements that benefit the system while expanding their customer base. Social businesses become locally owned once they establish their commercial sustainability.
Additionally, VillageReach recently launched Chipatala Cha Pa Foni (health center by phone) case-mangement hotline to test how increased access to information and referrals for pregnancy and child health issues can improve maternal and child health. The project also launched a new tuberculosis program to improve the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of tuberculosis at the community and health facility level.
In October and November 2011, Village Reach started Maternal and Neonatal Health Project in Kwitwanda, Malawi. VillageReach conducted a needs assessment to identify the barriers to optimal maternal and neonatal healthcare in Kwitanda, Malawi through interviews and focus group discussions with health workers, health surveillance assistants (HSAs) and women in the community. They implemented programs to extend the reach of antenatal care (ANC) services to the community, train additional HSAs in Maternal and Neonatal Health, and leverage existing maternal and neonatal health services provided by VillageReach such as Chipatala Cha Pa Foni.
In April 2013, Village Reach enrolled their first cohort of 50 students enrolled in their Malawi Pharmacy Assistants Program. Village reach partnered with the Malawi Ministry of Health, the Malawi College of Health Sciences, and the University of Washington Global Medicines Program to implement this three-year initiative, aimed to address the key barriers to medicines availability at the health facility and district level. This group of 50 talented and eager students will be the first trained pharmacy personnel to work in rural public health facilities throughout Malawi.