After participating in CGI's Global Health track, VillageReach committed to define and develop an integrated health support system (or ISS) in two countries.
In many countries, lack of access to basic health care contributes to social inequity. A small number of identifiable conditions, each with a set of interventions, are responsible for most of the disease burden in developing countries. Current health systems, however, are unable to deliver the volume and quality of services to the most vulnerable segments of society.
To date, various health care programs or initiatives have focused on a narrow selection of diseases and interventions. Because in-country health care infrastructure is often inadequate to support these initiatives, each must create its own vertical support system for implementation.
VillageReach aims to enable new countries to move away from vertical support systems by developing integrated service delivery initiatives. Through whole-service systems in which the organization shares health resources, VillageReach will support the provision of services across boundaries, such as at national/provincial/district/clinic levels, or in the realms of family planning or maternal and child health. In Mozambique, for example, VR works to ensure vaccine supply and delivery from the provincial level, to the district level, to each immunization clinic, and also supports outreach to isolated and rural communities.
Since 2002, VillageReach has partnered with the Foundation for Community Development and the Mozambique Ministry of Health (MoH) to provide a comprehensive set of solutions aimed at strengthening the nation's public health system. This demonstration project currently serves 171 clinics covering a population of 3.5 million people. The number of children immunized annually has increased by 36% over the first four years of the program in Cabo Delgado province with nearly 58,000 children fully immunized by their first birthdays in 2005.
Another example of VillageReach's success took place n June 2006 when one percent of the clinics in the VillageReach covered area experienced refrigerator problems. Even during this period, all of the refrigerators were fully stocked with vaccines, compared to almost 80 percent of vaccines being out of stock before the VillageReach program was implemented.
VillageReach has provided support in the following areas: supply chain management, cold chain management, injection safety, energy resources, communications, community outreach, and income-producing activities that support the health care system (e.g., propane distribution). The demonstration project has not only improved health care in northern Mozambique, but served as a test for how a comprehensive approach to health logistics and infrastructure can stimulate economic development and foster good local environmental stewardship.