Last Mile Health is known as Tiyatien Health in Liberia. Tiyatien means both truth and justice, and is derived from Kwa, the local dialect in southeast Liberia.
In 2007, Tiyatien Health (TH) began in Zwedru, Liberia as a collaboration between Dr. Rajesh Panjabi, a Liberian-born, Harvard-trained doctor, and Weafus Quitoe, then a volunteer nurse aide in Zwedru. With support from the Global Fund and the Liberian Government, Rajesh and Weafus partnered with a team of local AIDS-affected women to design and implement the HIV Equity Initiative: the country’s first HIV treatment program at a rural public health center.
Tiyatien Health connects rural, war-torn communities to essential health services. With half of Liberia’s population living in extremely rural areas, sometimes walking days through thick jungle to health facilities, TH has created a robust backbone of community health workers (accompaniers) to address the needs of these citizens. The accompaniers provide the missing infrastructure necessary to connect people to the care they need, when they need it.
Pioneers new models of primary health care for Liberia’s poor, rural communities;
Trains and supports health workers ranging from physicians, to nurses, to community health workers; and
Provides technical assistance to Liberia’s central and local government in the areas of policy and planning, research and evaluation, and health care delivery.
Go to where people live and work;
Deliver life-saving medicines;
Identify and refer people who need a higher level of care;
Teach vital health lessons; and
Support economic initiatives to lift patients and communities out of poverty.
Each year, TH’s accompaniers conduct over 10,000 home visits to people and communities affected by HIV, depression, and other chronic diseases, and refer over 2000 sick individuals from rural communities for early curative care and preventive primary care services.
TH also addresses the broader health needs of patients and their families by:
Linking health services to vital economic and food stipends;
Conducting agricultural and small business trainings to help break cycles of disease, poverty and gender inequality;
Facilitating community-based support groups for people living with HIV/AIDS and depression; and
Teaching and promoting social, economic, and legal rights for vulnerable local populations, especially women and children.