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  • Awarded: 2006
  • Issue Areas: Health · Health Delivery
  • Countries Served: Malawi · Mozambique
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    About the Organization

    VillageReach is an international NGO headquartered in Seattle, with field offices located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, and Mozambique. Through collaboration with public and private sector partners, VillageReach seeks to increase access to quality health care for the world’s most underserved communities, bringing life-saving innovations to scale and sustainability.

    VillageReach develops, tests, and implements solutions that uniquely address barriers at the lower levels or “last mile” of health care delivery in low-resource communities, including medicine availability, human resource constraints, data visibility, and lack of infrastructure.

    Effective solutions require a deep understanding of local health systems, a diverse set of skills and expertise, and strong relationships on the ground in order to achieve sustainable impact. VillageReach’s experience – over a decade of studying and working in low-resource communities in sub-Saharan Africa and around the globe – has informed their focus on the areas that have the greatest potential for large-scale impact, to save lives and improve health outcomes.

    One of the greatest challenges in healthcare in developing countries is the gaps that prevent medicines, vaccines, and services from reaching remote villages.

    VillageReach's model addresses five last-mile logistical barriers

    VillageReach's vision is to ncrease access to quality healthcare for the world’s most underserved communities.

    VillageReach has increased immunization rates and launched a sustainable business, VidaGas, to provide key support.

    Ambition for Change

    Increase access to quality healthcare for the world’s most underserved communities.

    Path to Scale

    Adoption of Model in Public Systems

    Ministries of Health in Mozambique and other countries are logical partners to adopt innovations developed by VillageReach.

    Born in Cameroon, Blaise Judja-Sato was a successful U.S. businessman until a devastating flood in Mozambique prompted his return to Africa. While helping with relief efforts, he saw both the suffering of the rural poor and the frustration of nongovernmental organizations that could not get medicines across the “last mile” of remote country to those in need. He also realized that these last-mile barriers affected industries and others who might be willing to pay into a shared system that benefited everyone. He founded VillageReach in 2000 to build this infrastructure. VillageReach’s model addresses five last-mile logistical barriers: (1) human resource development, including training local health workers; (2) physical infrastructure; (3) support systems to manage clinic operations, maintenance, and inventory control; (4) community development, including preparing local organizations and Ministries of Health to take over ownership of projects; and (5) income generation through the development of social enterprises, to fill infrastructure gaps and subsidize programs.  At the time of the Award, VillageReach was working with 90 clinics, serving 1.5 million people. Blaise has since left the organization, which is now led by Allen Wilcox.

    Impact & Accomplishments

    • VillageReach increased immunization coverage rates for children under 5 in northern Mozambique from 68 percent to over 95 percent with an innovative last-mile logistics system that not only increased effectiveness but also reduced costs for Mozambique’s Ministry of Health, which is now implementing the system throughout the country.
    • VillageReach developed an open-source, Web-based management information system to support last-mile logistics systems.
    • VillageReach built its social business, VidaGas, into a profitable business as the largest propane distributor in northern Mozambique. It continues to support the health system as well as moving the broader market away from wood and charcoal as energy sources.


    Alinafe KasiyaMalawi Deputy Country Director, VillageReach
    Allen WilcoxFormer President, Board Member, VillageReach
    Andrew HauliHealth Center Manager, VillageReach
    Blaise Judja-SatoFounder and Chairman of the Board of Directors, VillageReach
    Bvudzai MagadzireSenior Technical Advisor, VillageReach
    Rebecca OkeloProgram Lead, Med25, VillageReach

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