Located deep in the rainforest of Grand
Gedeh County, Gboe District is a
picture of remoteness. A two-hour
drive down a narrow, unpaved road from
the nearest community with cellular reception,
Boe Geewon is the most accessible of
the district’s 12 communities. Chayee Town,
Zammie, and Zarzar are another five to
seven hours past Boe Geewon and can only
be reached on foot. Until recently, the only
option when a community member fell ill or
got injured in one of these towns was to carry
them in a hammock for up to two days to reach
the nearest clinic in a neighboring district.
In 2015, your support enabled us to recruit
and train CHWs to provide lifesaving health
services to every community in Gboe District.
For the first time ever, children gained ready
access to treatment for common illnesses and
there was finally a robust disease surveillance
network in place to identify the earliest signs
of an infectious disease outbreak. But we
didn’t stop there.
Construction of the Boe Geewon
Community Clinic was completed in September 2017.
We knew that CHW programs are most
impactful when they connect patients with
the broader public sector health system, but
there was no clinic in Gboe for CHWs to refer
complicated cases to. Where many considered
Gboe too small or too remote to warrant
investment, we saw an overwhelming need
for lifesaving healthcare and we were determined
to bridge the gap. With the support of
generous partners like you, we committed to
accompanying the people of Gboe and the
Government of Liberia to open the district’s
Not long before we launched operations in
the district, the people of Gboe had pooled
together community funds and started
construction on a building that they hoped
could be become a formal clinic. The local youth committee framed the building with
bamboo and other local materials and
covered the structure with corrugated roofing
material. It was an impressive start, but
the building still needed structural improvements,
staff, and supplies.
As we launched our CHW program in Gboe,
we also began working with community
leaders and the Ministry of Health’s Grand
Gedeh County Health Team (CHT) to set
these upgrades in motion. In the meantime,
we also worked with the CHT to send medical
staff and supplies to Gboe for one week
each month to run a temporary clinic out of
the unfinished structure.
Nurse aide Victoria Goah, a former CHW from
Gboe District, takes a patient’s blood pressure at the
Boe Geewon Community Clinic.
Patients receive prescriptions from the clinic’s pharmacy.
For two years, the people of Gboe worked
diligently to complete construction. Meanwhile,
Last Mile Health assisted with the
transportation of building materials and the
recruitment and training of local community
members to serve as the clinic’s registrar,
nurse aide, pharmaceutical dispenser, vaccinator,
and laboratory aide.
Amongst these new staff is Victoria Goah,
who was one of the first CHWs we recruited
in Gboe in 2015. In recognition of her
outstanding skill and dedication, Victoria was
promoted to serve as the clinic’s nurse aide.
Through two months of training at Martha
Tubman Memorial Hospital in Zwedru, Victoria
learned to perform blood pressure screenings,
register new patients, and support
clinical staff with patient care.
Once Victoria and the clinic’s other support
staff completed training, the Ministry of Health
recruited a talented nurse and registered
midwife to serve as the facility’s two full-time
clinical staff. With the structure complete and
the staff recruited and trained, the final hurdle
was to deliver medical supplies to the clinic
and officially launch operations.
After traveling for three days through the
deep mud of rainy season roads, the launch
team finally arrived in Boe Geewon on
September 6th, 2017. When they arrived,
they found a town eager to celebrate the
culmination of two years of advocacy, partnership,
and determined innovation. In just
its first month of operation, the Boe Geewon
Community Clinic delivered five healthy
babies and provided care to more than
400 patients for conditions ranging from
malaria and upper-respiratory infections to
life-threatening trauma injuries.
The launch of CHW programming and
the establishment of a clinic in Gboe have
demonstrated the magnitude of what we
can achieve when we commit to innovating
together with governments and local
communities. We will continue to evaluate
and refine our efforts in Gboe to glean valuable
learning about how to design, build, and
support health systems that enable people
living in remote communities around the
world to realize their right to health.