'Illness is universal but access to health care isn't'

Rajesh Panjabi, CEO of Last Mile Health, says “Illness is universal and access to health care isn’t.”

Combating Ebola in West Africa has exposed wide gaps in delivering primary health care services.

Rajesh Panjabi, CEO of Last Mile Health, an organization that trains health workers in the world’s most remote villages, said the main factor that led to Ebola becoming a major health crisis is that poor access to primary care is absent in many of the affected places.

“We have left behind a billion people on our planet who have no physical access to care,” he said. These people were deemed not meaningful enough as consumers to merit private sector support, Panjabi said. Further, nonprofits considered them too expensive to support, while the public sector believed them too difficult to serve.

“Illness is universal [but] access to health care isn’t,” Last Mile Health’s chief executive stressed.

Watch the clip above to find out what Last Mile Health has been doing to deliver primary care over the past few years in remote villages in Africa.

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About the author

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    Jacques Jimeno

    Jacques is a former copy editor at Devex’s news production team. Previously, he worked with the Philippine Department of Tourism and the World Wide Fund for Nature.