Innovation Fund project leverages $6M+ in additional funds

3rd July 2017

An Innovation Fund project striking at the heart of young people’s lack of contraceptive access in Malawi has leveraged more than US$6M with which to expand its scope and impact. Working with Malawi’s health ministry, fund recipient VillageReach tackles key barriers to access: contraceptive stockouts, provider attitudes, and clinical standards and procedures. 

Pharmacy assistants, trained as mentors, coach local health facility staff to improve commodity availability; they also track good supply chain practices such as adherence to store room standards, record keeping, and data quality. Focus group sessions have found that young people are reluctant to get contraceptives at family planning clinic days because they worry about a lack of confidentiality. VillageReach will work with the Ministry of Health in Malawi and the Malawi College of Health Sciences to make it possible for trained personnel to fill prescriptions for family planning methods. Recommendations will be made to the Government to incorporate findings into the national curriculum for pharmacy assistants and youth-friendly pharmacy guidelines.

The work has leveraged $1.3M from USAID /PEPFAR to scale-up the Pharmacy Assistant Mentorship Program from three to five districts and launch a hotline to address young people’s HIV/RH needs. They’ve also secured an additional $5M in USAID funding to scale up the mentorship program and conduct other systems-strengthening initiatives in sixteen districts, including the original four funded under the Innovation Fund grant. For more information, please contact Erin Larsen-Cooper at 

Category: Malawi

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