Can Liberia Teach Us How to Create a Universal Healthcare System That Works?

In the wake of a long and brutal civil war, Liberia had one of the world’s worst shortages of doctors—51 physicians to serve the entire country. The health of millions in the most remote communities suffered. That “tyranny of distance” is lethal, says Raj Panjabi, CEO of Last Mile Health.

The Liberian National Health Assistance Program is a coordinated effort between Co-Impact, The Global Fund, Last Mile Health, and the Liberian Ministry of Health to save lives in the most remote and marginalized communities in the country and create lasting improvements for the entire national healthcare system. Can Liberia teach us how to create a universal healthcare system that works?

This collaboration trains, digitally equips, pays, and supervises a cadre of community health workers to provide care for those remote communities—treating everything from malnutrition and malaria to tracking the next potential Ebola outbreak. Currently the program has reached 70 percent of remote, rural families with primary healthcare. The Co-Impact investment will enable thousands more community health workers to help bring complete national coverage and institutionalize a health system that serves all.

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