Tiyatien Health

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Tiyatien Health

Zwedru, Liberia
Project Stage:
$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Founded by refugees of Liberia’s civil war, Tiyatien Health is pioneering a model community-based system that is redefining how remote villages access health care. Tiyatien Health is employing a new generation of highly skilled community health workers, frontline health workers, who are trained to do everything your family doctor would do, but in places your family doctor would never go. Tiyatien Health’s frontline health workers are bringing quality, comprehensive health care to communities once considered unreachable.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Africa faces a shortage of 1.5 million health workers. Nowhere is the crisis worse than in Liberia, which was left with just 51 doctors to serve 4 million people after its 14-year civil war. Today, many Liberian villagers in remote communities are forced to walk more than 10 hours to access essential health services. Tiyatien Health serves residents of Grand Gedeh County, a marginalized remote region of 200,000 farmers, hunters and refugees living in the rain forests of southeastern Liberia. Historically, Grand Gedeh and southeastern Liberia have suffered the worse health disparities. Infant, child and maternal mortality rates are among the five highest in the world. Compared to children in any other region, children in the southeast have less complete vaccination coverage, experience higher rates of malnutrition and have less access to clinical care, including antibiotics or anti-malarial medicines for fever.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Community health workers (CHWs) have been proposed as one key solution to the massive health worker gaps facing ‘last mile’ villages across rural Africa. Yet, restricted in scope and based on unpaid volunteers, past CHW programs have failed to reach full potential and scale within the public sector, especially in hard-to-reach areas. Tiyatien Health, on the other hand, recognizes community-based health workers as the most undervalued resource to closing rural Africa’s massive health workforce gap. Tiyatien Health’s frontline health workers (FHWs) deliver comprehensive packages of services, creating value by leveraging each worker against an array of diseases as well as poverty. Compared to conventional health care, Tiyatien’s model generates significant value for the health system. With one doctor, a clinic can conduct up to 7000 patient visits annually. Paired with a team of 40 FHWs, the same clinic can perform up to 120,000 patient visits annually. But FHWs also deliver a higher standard of care. Harvard-led research studying our program suggest survival is increased by up to 60% among HIV patients receiving care supported by a FHW compared to receiving hospital care alone. Finally, Tiyatien partners with the Ministry of Health, generating research and advocacy to build a new health workforce within the public sector.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Tiyatien Health is addressing the rural health access gap through training and employing highly skilled village-based health workers, or frontline health workers (FHWs) to provide comprehensive health care in communities where there are no doctors. Unemployed women and former patients are selected by their villages to establish a revolutionary corps of FHWs, trained to deliver an essential package of health services based on local quantitative and qualitative data, including the five leading causes of child, maternal and adult mortality and morbidity. FHWs will be supervised and supported by a network of mid-level clinicians based in public health centers and will be able to link patients to advanced clinical care when needed. Tiyatien also trains government physicians and nurses to support and supervise FHWs and improve public health facilities. Additionally to reduce stigma, malnutrition, and the costs of seeking care, FHWs organize patients and women into economic cooperatives, such as farms and sewing projects, while linking them to food and other forms of social support.