As we shared in our most recent Quarterly Report, our focus over the past three months has been on supporting the Government of Liberia to roll-out a National Community Health Assistant (CHA) Program that will provide lifesaving healthcare to 1.2 million people living in Liberia’s remote communities.

Since January, we have supported the Ministry of Health’s County Health Teams to train nearly 450 community health workers across multiple training sites in Grand Gedeh and Rivercess Counties. Nationwide, Last Mile Health and our fellow implementing partners have trained a total of more than 2,300 community health workers across 11 of Liberia’s 15 counties.

Community health worker Soko Sirleaf shares a hand-drawn map of his community in Timbo District, Rivercess County. Across Liberia, more than 2,300 community health workers like Soko have been trained on Module One of the National CHA Program curriculum, which covers community mapping, household registration, and disease surveillance, prevention, and control. Following their training in January, each of our community health workers in Rivercess County returned home and created a map detailing all of the households, water sources, and other key landmarks in their community. They also created records that include key demographic information about the residents of each household they serve. In the months ahead, they will use these resources to guide their work as they support expectant mothers through pregnancy, track vaccination coverage in children, perform “active case-finding” to ensure early detection of childhood illness, and rapidly identify and contain potential outbreaks of infectious disease.

Clinical supervisor Josephine Wonmie leads a group of community health workers from Rivercess County in an introduction to community health.

Community health worker Prince Kangar shares his reflections on the progress he’s seen in his community over the past year since he was trained to provide health talks to encourage community support for safe, facility-based deliveries. Now that he has been trained on a full package of Reproductive, Maternal, and Neonatal Health services as part of the National CHA Program, he can provide extensive support to promote the health of pregnant women and newborn babies. He is also trained to provide counseling on family planning options and distribute certain contraceptive products free of charge.

Representatives from the Liberia Ministry of Health, Last Mile Health, Partners in Health, International Rescue Committee, PLAN International, and Samaritan’s Purse gathered in Monrovia in March for a Quarterly Review Meeting to share learning and discuss next steps in rolling out the Government of Liberia’s National CHA Program.

Community health workers from Rivercess County participate in a two-week training on community health and disease surveillance in January 2017. Learn more about the services that our community health workers provide.

In March, we supported the Rivercess County Health Team to train 284 community health workers on the Government of Liberia’s standardized Reproductive, Maternal, and Neonatal Health training.

In March, we convened our annual leadership retreat around the theme “doubling down on depth” to reflect on challenges and successes and plan for the year ahead. Looking forward, we will focus on supporting the Ministry of Health to address risks to the quality and sustainability of the National CHA Program. These include the need to effectively monitor training quality and ensure integration and standardization around protocols for supply chain and data reporting.

Community Engagement Officer Nimley Shilue crosses a log bridge near a community called Paris in Rivercess County. In partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation and IDEO, Nimley and others on our team recently completed an assessment aimed at identifying means of improving the referral pathway between communities and government health facilities.

In March, we supported a group of our colleagues from the Liberia Ministry of Health to attend the Institutionalizing Community Health Conference hosted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Johannesburg, South Africa. The team presented lessons learned from rolling out Liberia’s government-led community health worker program, and they used the conference as an opportunity to learn from peer organizations doing similar work across more than 22 different countries.

Skoll Foundation filmmaker Gabriel Diamond captures community health worker James Togba caring for a child with malaria. In March, we were honored with a Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. In case you missed it, check out the video profile that Skoll made about the lifesaving efforts of James and his fellow community health workers.

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After Ebola: Why Invest in Community Health?

Posted on 08/30/2017

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa provided a stark reminder that the lack of basic healthcare and disease surveillance systems in remote communities is both a local injustice and a global threat. Last Mile Health CEO Dr. Raj Panjabi, MD, MPH was recently featured on the television news program PBS NewsHour reflecting on the outbreak […]

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