Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award
People without access to healthcare in remote communities
Community and frontline health workers expected to be upskilled
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.
- Shemara Wikramanayake, CEO, Macquarie Group
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.