We work to dismantle barriers and expand opportunities for women as both providers and consumers of healthcare.

Last Mile Health works to achieve health equity in rural and remote communities in Africa. Health equity and gender equity are inextricably linked—so to realize our mission and vision, we must expand opportunities for women as both providers and consumers of healthcare.

Gender inequities hold women back as professionals, preventing patients from accessing the quality health services they deserve and health systems from reaching their full potential. Last Mile Health has committed to addressing this problem by supporting women as both providers and consumers of healthcare.

  • As providers: Women make up the majority of community health workers in Africa, but often go unpaid or underpaid for their work. We aim to identify and dismantle the barriers that are holding women back as professionals, and to increase women’s opportunities in the health system.
  • As consumers: The majority of community health services are provided to women and their children. We aim to increase access to and quality of health services provided to patients.
community health worker doing routine checks with a mother

Our Approach

In our work with African governments, we identify opportunities to mainstream gender into programming to increase women’s equitable participation in the health workforce and increase access to quality care for mothers and their children.

In Liberia, we conducted a gender assessment of the national community health worker program with the Ministry of Health and Co-Impact to identify barriers to women being hired in the community health workforce, and those recommendations were adopted by the Ministry of Health, leading to an increased number of women recruited in Grand Bassa County. In Ethiopia, we are creating innovative blended training materials with and for women, ensuring they are tailored to the all-female community health workforce.

Woman holding toddler in lap.
Child having arm measured.

Globally, we advocate for this work by disseminating best practices from our programs in partnership with ministries of health, publishing op-eds, and speaking at events like the UN General Assembly, World Health Assembly, and the Commission on the Status of Women. Currently, we are working with Integrate Health through a joint Clinton Global Initiative commitment to strengthen and sustain gender-responsive community health worker programs across four countries, as well as to develop and disseminate lessons learned to accelerate similar efforts across Africa.

Internally, we also maintain a gender mainstreaming working group that serves as advisors across the organization and provides input into our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy.

Read More on Last Mile Health’s Blog

Blog Post

Announcing Last Mile Health and Integrate Health’s 2023 Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action: Building Gender Equity through Community Health Systems

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Blog Post

Driving health for all: Our top takeaways from World Health Assembly 2023

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Blog Post

Four key messages from #UNGA77

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Blog Post

Towards a More Gender-Equal Community Health Worker Program: Key Takeaways from the Gender Assessment of Liberia’s National Program

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To bring a health worker within reach of everyone, everywhere.