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VillageReach Announces Results of Five-Year Health System Improvement Program in Mozambique
Date:3/19/2009

Vaccine coverage rates reach 95% - rival many developed countries

SEATTLE, March 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- VillageReach, the Seattle-based international organization that increases developing nations' access to healthcare, today announced significant improvements in vaccination rates for its heath system strengthening program in Mozambique. The results of the independent study show high rates of immunization that rival those of many developed countries.

VillageReach was established in 2000. In 2002, it began a five-year program to improve the health and welfare of Mozambique's remote communities, which comprise the majority of the poor across the country of 21 million. Because of inadequate infrastructure for these "Last Mile" communities, health services are unreliable for most families. Ravaged by disease and one of the world's highest infant mortality rates - nearly twenty times that of the US - Mozambique represents a challenging environment in which to improve health system quality.

The VillageReach program was conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Mozambique-based Community Development Foundation, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, a population of 1.6 million.

Key findings:

  • a significant increase in DTP3 vaccination coverage for young children to 95% from 69%. DTP3, or Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis, is a combined vaccine in common use worldwide. Average coverage for DTP3 across Sub-Saharan Africa today is approximately 70%;
  • a dramatic reduction in stockouts from 80% to 1%. At the conclusion of the program, on average health centers reported being out of stock of critical vaccines, medicines and equipment less than 1% of the time, compared with almost 80% in 2004;
  • a strong trust in the community health centers for family healthcare. Over 90% of the families interviewed for the evaluation had visited a health center in the last month despite nearly half of them living over two hours away.

"Increasing vaccination rates saves lives and we are very encouraged both by the results of our work in Mozambique as well as the positive reaction communities have to a more reliable health system," said Allen Wilcox, president of VillageReach. "Developing countries like Mozambique need to expand these programs to a national scale."

The evaluation also provided compelling evidence of sustainability for the program model long after VillageReach's involvement: coverage rates for children vaccinated after the end of the program remained close to 90% or above. The program also improved the ability of health workers to operate more effectively by enabling them to order vaccines in a timely manner and plan well in advance to avoid stockouts.

For more information on the Mozambique health system strengthening program, please visit www.villagereach.org.

About VillageReach

VillageReach extends the reach of conventional healthcare services to remote, underserved communities by creating dynamic delivery and information monitoring systems. As the systems mature, project activities are transitioned to regional public health authorities to allow for true sustainability of these services.

    For further information, please contact:

    VillageReach
    John Beale
    Mobile:  206-755-0145
    Email: john@villagereach.org
    Website:  www.villagereach.org


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SOURCE VillageReach
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