Solving the healthcare delivery puzzle

Emily Bancroft, President of VillageReach

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When we design for the needs of the hardest to reach communities, we build more equitable and resilient health systems for everyone.

  • Globally, 8.6 million people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) die each year from poor quality health care or lack of access to health care. This was further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, when access to basic services, such as routine child immunization, was disrupted. To address these inequities, VillageReach develops people-centered solutions that are critical to systems that deliver primary health care to those in under-reached communities.
  • VillageReach is an international NGO with a vision to ensure equitable access for all communities. They work to transform health systems so that they respond to the unique desires, circumstances and behaviors of the people they serve while bringing high-impact solutions to scale and sustainability.
  • They advocate for quality health care that reaches all communities, working with partners in sub-Saharan Africa to solve health care delivery challenges right down to the smallest and hardest-to-reach communities. This includes making sure products are available when and where they are needed through supply chain logistics, developing healthcare workforces, creating new tech-enabled pathways to deliver health care and helping governments make sense of available data and analytics to drive decision-making and continuous healthcare improvements.
  • VillageReach are innovative in extending the reach of primary health care. This includes integrating private sector transporters in public health supply chains, being a recognized global leader on the use of drones to transport health commodities in geographically hard to reach areas, and engaging telecommunications companies in high-impact platforms that increase access to immunizations and other primary health care services.
  • Twenty years of working with ministries of health has resulted in deep expertise in building the systems that deliver and their radical collaborations with governments strengthen VillageReach’s ability to scale and sustain these solutions. In 2020, VillageReach and the Malawi Ministry of Health completed the transition of an innovative hotline and messaging platform from VillageReach to full government ownership and management, with no decrease in customer satisfaction for the service. VillageReach co-designed the Journey to Scale with Government Tool with other social impact organizations, governments, and funders to increase the likelihood of impact at scale in the sector.
  • VillageReach’s work in COVID19 prevention and management has directly helped to vaccinate over 150,000 people, and has provided critical information on community knowledge and perceptions of the virus and the vaccine, leading to new prevention and community-based vaccination strategies for local and national governments across six countries. In 2020, Emily also co-founded the COVID Action Fund for Africa (CAF-Africa), a collaborative of more than 30 organizations that delivered 122M units of protective equipment to 500,000 community health workers across 18 countries in Africa. By 2021, VillageReach’s deep expertise in immunization and health equity in Africa contributed to stories in major media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, Politico, Axios, DevEx, Scientific American, Geekwire, and Voice of America.
  • Since Emily became President in 2017, she has led the organization to increased reach and impact. During her tenue, VillageReach has contributed to increasing access to quality health care in health systems that serve 58 million people across Africa, an increase from 20 million people five years ago.
  • Emily is recognized for her expertise in supply chains, community health systems, radical collaboration, and inclusive leadership. She is a member of Connected Women Leaders, a sought after speaker on health equity, a clinical instructor at the University of Washington School of Public Health, and a writer for Forbes Nonprofit Council.

VillageReach works towards this UN Sustainable Development Goal:


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