Raj Panjabi

Last Mile Health

Big Idea: 

Why we chose Raj as a Fellow

At age nine, Raj narrowly escaped a civil war in his home country of Liberia. He went to the US, attended medical school, and in 2005, Raj returned to serve the people he had left behind. Raj worked with fellow Liberian refugees to rebuild village health care in his home country by pioneering a new community-based health worker model.

Africa faces a shortage of 1.5 million health workers. Nowhere is the crisis worse than in rural Liberia, left with just 51 doctors after its 14-year civil war. Liberia's health care system is built around doctors and villagers die because all the doctors are in the cities. Raj started Last Mile Health to bring high-quality health care to the villages and to do it in a way that could scale up to cover the whole country. Last Mile Health turns community health workers into real professionals: giving them the training, materials, support, and pay they need to perform.

Rainer Arnhold Fellows