As our Co-Founder and CEO, Dr. Raj Panjabi, is apt to say: “We as people are not defined by the crises that strike our lives. We are defined by how we respond to them.” In the wake of the Ebola crisis in West Africa, which claimed more than 11,300 lives and crippled the region’s health systems, we are committed to responding to the threat of infectious disease and the everyday crisis of premature death by creating a resilient health system that reaches the last mile.
We believe that paid, supervised community health professionals can serve as a first line of defense against disease outbreaks while ensuring that all people have access to lifesaving primary care every day, no matter where they live. Over the past year we put this idea into action by supporting the Liberia Ministry of Health to develop and launch a National Community Health Assistant (CHA) Program that, by 2021, will deploy more than 4,000 professional community health workers and clinical supervisors to serve all 1.2 million Liberians who live more than an hour’s walk from the nearest health facility.
At the same time, we have expanded our on-the-ground footprint to include nearly 300 community health professionals who serve more than 50,000 people across some of Liberia’s most remote communities. Since July of 2015, our Community Health Workers have treated a total of 21,728 cases of illness in children under the age of five and conducted thousands of routine household visits to track vaccine coverage in young children, refer expectant mothers for antenatal care, and educate parents on preventing common childhood illnesses.
As they work to address the top drivers of maternal and child mortality in their communities, Last Mile Health’s dedicated community health professionals are extending access to lifesaving primary care and proving that it’s possible to build a resilient health system that reaches the last mile.
At Last Mile Health, our response to the profound tragedy of the Ebola epidemic was to push forward with renewed persistence our vision of a health worker for everyone, everywhere, every day. Our Annual Report outlines our progress towards this vision, and we are thrilled to share it with you.
Thank you, as always, for helping us reach the last mile.