Letter from the CEO: Celebrating 15 Years of Impact and a New Journey in Burkina Faso

Dear Friends,

For the last 15 years, Living Goods has been working to cost-effectively improve access to basic healthcare at the last mile. Although we have learned and evolved over time, our vision remains unchanged: a world where every family can access the healthcare they need to survive and thrive. In May, we celebrated 15 years in Uganda, where it all started. We held a meeting attended by distinguished government representatives, funding and implementing partners, community health workers (CHWs) and the media.

 Photos from the 15-year celebrations in Uganda.

I was encouraged by the words of the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) Permanent Secretary, Dr. Diana Atwiine, who highlighted the government’s commitment to compensating CHWs and strengthening community health as a strong foundation to the overall health system. Over the years, we have advanced from supporting hundreds of entrepreneurial CHWs in Uganda to becoming a key health system strengthening partner to three country governments – today supporting more than 10,000 CHWs reaching nearly 6 million people.

We have witnessed the remarkable impact of professionalized CHWs, as evidenced by two randomized controlled trials, the latest showing a 28-30% reduction in child mortality. As we’ve grown, we’ve expanded the quality and quantity of health services that CHWs provide, tested and implemented new innovations, designed co-financing agreements for community health service delivery and partnered with governments on the journey to digitize and professionalize their CHWs at national scale.

We also expanded into our third country — Burkina Faso, which I visited in June. I was impressed by how the team is building synergies with civil society actors and the government to mobilize resources for community health. In addition to operating a learning site in Ziniaré, Living Goods is playing a critical role in supporting the development of the national community health strategy (2024- 2026), including the creation and costing of an investment plan. My time in Burkina Faso reminded me of the lessons we have learned on this journey.

Liz and other Living Goods senior leaders meeting with the Burkina Faso team.

The longer Living Goods partners with governments to improve the performance of their community health systems, the more we appreciate that this process takes time. Without the right political will and visionary leadership by the government, working towards durable and sustainable impact becomes challenging. Already in Burkina Faso, through the leadership of the MoH, we are seeing strong results even at these early stages. I strongly believe in the power of collaboration. When we come together — as governments, funders, implementing partners, and communities and intentionally build meaningful partnerships and alliances instead of competing, we can move further and faster than we would alone.

Solving big problems requires bold and innovative solutions, which must be achieved through shared responsibility and collective efforts.

As we move forward with the implementation of our 2022-2026 strategic plan, we remain steadfast in working side by side with governments to improve the performance, impact and reach of CHWs and strengthen the overall system. I’m grateful to you all who have in one way or the other contributed to the work Living Goods does. I also want to lift up my colleagues who are deeply dedicated to our mission and willing to try new things, fail, learn and strive for lasting impact. Thank you for standing with us and learning alongside us for the last 15 years.

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