Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award

Last Mile Health

The Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award supports five organisations that are addressing areas of significant social need through bold projects that promise lasting community benefit.

1 billion

People without access to healthcare in remote communities

27,000

Community and frontline health workers expected to be upskilled

100 million+

People in Liberia, Ethiopia and Malawi will have access to community-based primary healthcare

Illness is universal; healthcare is not. The World Health Organisation estimates that half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health services. This has a devastating impact on health outcomes, with millions of people dying every year from preventable causes. Ensuring access to quality, community-based primary health services for people living in the world’s remote communities poses many challenges, including the growing shortage of skilled healthcare providers and low investments in national health systems.

Last Mile Health is tackling this issue by expanding access to primary healthcare for remote communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Its approach is to partner with governments to train national networks of community and frontline health workers. Serrena, who lives in a community of 800 people in Liberia, is one of those health workers. After completing her training, gaining access to high-quality and low-cost diagnostic tools such as malaria testing kits that only cost as much as one dollar, and receiving regular supervision, she’s able to provide home-based primary health care to her community.

In Liberia, health workers like Serrena have now completed nearly 2 million patient visits and treated more than 300,000 children for malaria, diarrhoea, and pneumonia.

There is an incredible opportunity to scale this work globally. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Global Health showed that if we were able to train and equip teams of community and frontline health workers to expand rural coverage of at least 30 primary health services, we could save at least 30 million additional lives by 2030.

"We are at a critical inflection point in the fight to ensure everyone, everywhere can access primary healthcare. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Macquarie Group and others to demonstrate what’s possible when governments invest in health systems that reach all people - no matter where they live."

- Raj Panjabi, CEO, Last Mile Health

"With half of the world’s population living without access to essential healthcare, we're proud to support Last Mile Health's innovative approach to achieving health equity in delivering lifesaving care to some of the world's most remote communities."

- Shemara Wikramanayake, CEO, Macquarie Group

Funding outcomes

The Award funding will support the completion of the critical development phase of the technology. Once the design is proven, The Ocean Cleanup can begin its scale-up to a full fleet of systems to be deployed across the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.