How Last Mile Health is closing the gap to healthcare for remote communities

Last Mile Health
Last Mile Health
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
5 December 2022
Half of the world’s population lacks access to essential primary healthcare, including treatment for common childhood illnesses like diarrhoea or malaria, and support for services such as family planning and prenatal care.

This gap is particularly acute in remote communities, where an estimated two billion people live outside of the reach of healthcare. Compounding this crisis is a massive health worker shortage.

Last Mile Health is on a mission to ensure health workers are within reach of everyone, everywhere, and is partnering with governments to build strong community health systems that extend primary healthcare to the world’s most remote communities.

Bringing Medicine to the World’s Forgotten Corners

In 2018, Last Mile Health, along with Living Goods, were selected as an Audacious Project. Their audacious goal is to bring quality health care to 34 million people in six countries in East and West Africa.

The Audacious Project, housed at TED, was brought to life through the collaboration of some of the most respected names in the non-profit world, including Skoll, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Scott Cook & Signe Ostby and more. Virgin Unite is proud to be one of the partners supporting incredible organisations like Last Mile Health.

Studies have shown that professional community health workers reduce child mortality, improve maternal health outcomes, and provide essential surveillance and response during disease outbreaks. Last Mile Health is committed to scaling this proven, life-saving intervention, to reach more patients in need.

Last Mile Health
Last Mile Health

According to Last Mile Health, the Ebola epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic widened longstanding health inequities, as well as shining a spotlight on the critical role of community health workers in treatment, testing and vaccine rollout. And as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a critical opportunity to build on this momentum and invest in quality community health systems that are capable of saving millions of lives every year.

Over the next five years, Last Mile Health is looking to deepen its influence in community health systems and influence community health financing. It wants to further its work with the governments in Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi and Sierra Leone (and potentially one or two additional countries in Africa) to improve community health systems.

An additional focus will be placed on community health funding, analysing current practice and policy across Africa to then help maximise how up to $2 billion in sustainable funding is invested in community health. Visit Last Mile Health to find out more.