Health Systems Group

The Health System Group (HSG) represents the majority of VillageReach staff. HSG assess current gaps in health systems and identifies ideal delivery practices and management roles/responsibilities to ensure optimal distribution. HSG staff is presented by country office location.

Emily Bancroft, Program Director & Group Lead, Health Systems Group»


Jessica Crawford, Malawi Country Director»


Pharmacy Assistants Program

Charles Matemba, Monitoring & Evaluation Officer »

Matthew Ziba, Project Officer »


Shallnever Tambala, Project Assistant »

ICT to Improve Health Services for Mothers and Children Project

Zachariah Jezman, Project Manager »


Novice Gauti, Case Management Hotline Supervisor»


Hanna James, Hotline Worker»


Doreen Namsala, Hotline Worker»


Beauty Waekha, Case Management Hotline Nurse»


Robert Saiti, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer »


Kwitanda Community Health Project

Saiti Chikwapulo, Project Manager »


Charles Isaac, Health Surveillance Assistant »


Gladys Kaselo, Health Surveillance Assistant »


Catherine Kazembe, Health Surveillance Assistant »


Mackson Khalawako, Health Surveillance Assistant »


Antsey Lwanda, Health Surveillance Assistant »


Beatrice Chaponda, Program Officer»


Fidelis Malemia, Community Development Facilitator»


Pemphero Katondo, Health Surveillance Assistant»



Ruth Bechtel, Mozambique Country Director »


Aida Coelho, National Program Officer »


Katia Denise Hamide, National Administrator »


Alberto Mabote, Field Officer - Gaza»


Margarida Matsinhe, Field Officer - Maputo»


António Gaspar Tomboloco, Field Officer - Niassa»


Andre Horacio Zimba, Accountant - Maputo»


Alvaro Lopes, National Supply Chain Officer»


United States

Erin Larsen-Cooper, Program Associate»


Wendy Prosser, Program Manager»


Melissa Sanchez, Program Associate»


Vidya Sampath, Program Associate»


For more information on our capabilities, click here.

For more information on our experience, click here.

Emily BancroftAs the Program Director and Group Lead, Health Systems Group, Emily is responsible for the design, development and management of health system intervention programs at VillageReach. Emily is also responsible for building new relationships and opportunities for the health systems team at VillageReach.

Emily has over a decade of experience in program management, monitoring and evaluation, community-based assessment, health informatics, and program development. Most recently, Emily has worked on health worker capacity building and health system strengthening initiatives in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda. Prior to joining VillageReach, Emily worked with the International Training and Education Center on Health (I-TECH), Physicians for Human Rights, and NPower. In January 2012, Emily was appointed as a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Health Services of the School of Public Health at the University of Washington.

Emily has an MPH from the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine and a BA from Princeton University.

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Jessica Crawford

As Country Director, Jessica Crawford is responsible for the design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of VillageReach’s programs in Malawi. She currently manages the Pharmacy Assistant Training Program, a Malawi Ministry of Health initiative to train and deploy a new cadre of pharmacy personnel to work in health centers throughout the country. Jess has extensive experience in designing and conducting health program evaluations including; process and impact evaluations, epidemiological studies, and needs assessments. Prior to joining VillageReach, Jessica worked in various public health settings internationally and domestically specializing in quality improvement, data analysis, and evaluation. She has worked on projects in Malawi and Mozambique and previously served as a community health educator in Tanzania with the Peace Corps. Jessica holds a MA in Policy Studies and MPH in Health Services from the University of Washington as well as a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology and BA in Sociology.

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CharlesAs a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Charles will be working to develop and implement a monitoring and evaluation plan for the Pharmacy Assistant Training program and provide general support to the program.  Charles comes to VillageReach with extensive experience in Monitoring and Evaluation. He most recently worked with Research Triangle International as an EMIS (Education Management Information System) and M&E Advisor where he worked with the Ministry of Education Science and Technology to strengthen their information systems, improved the monitoring and evaluation of Ministry initiatives and worked to improve data quality throughout the country. Charles has worked with various organizations such as JICA, UNDP, and UNV in different capacities. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from the University of Malawi, Chancellor College. 

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Matthew Ziba In this role, Matthew is responsible for overseeing and supporting the implementation of the program. Matthew joins VillageReach with vast experience in supply chain and hospital administration. Before joining VillageReach, Matthew previously worked with the United Nations Development Program on the Millennium Villages Project as Operations and Logistics Manager for more than three years. Before then, he worked as the Principal Hospital Manager for Nkhoma Hospital and Administrative Manager at St John of God Community Health Services. Matthew holds a Master of Science in Supply Ch

ain Management from University of Bolton, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Malawi the Polytechnic. 

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shallnever tambalaAs Project Assistant working on the Pharmacy Assistant Training Program, Shallnever Tambala works closely with the program team to implement and oversee a high quality practical training program for the PA students. He is responsible for orienting health center and hospital staff, developing practical

training materials, and supporting supervision of students and mentors during the practical training period. In addition, Shallnever assists the Malawi College of Health Sciences as a part time pharmacy lecturer. Shallnever is a pharmacy technician by training with experience working in the MoH and Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) hospitals. He most recently worked with Medicines Sans Frontiers to mentor clinicians, nurses, and community health workers in pharmacy best practices.   

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Zachariah_JezmanJezman joined VillageReach in April 2011 as a Project Coordinator where he was responsible for coordinating community outreach, social mobilization, and health education activities pertaining to maternal and child health in the district of Balaka.   In 2012, Jezman was promoted to Project Manager of the Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Innovations Project.  Jezman comes to VillageReach with years of professional community health experience and clinical expertise. Prior to his work with VillageReach, Jezman worked on a variety of community health programs with groups such as the Clinton Foundation, Johns Hopkins, NANM, and the Mulanje College of Nursing. Jezman holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Malawi and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the Kmauzu College of Nursing. He is registered with the Nurses and Midwives Council of Mala

wi, a standing committee member of the National Organization of Nurses of Malawi and a member of the Copyright Association of Malawi.  

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NoviceNovice Gauti joined VillageReach as a Case Management Hotline Supervisor for the Chipatala cha pa Foni Project in January 2013. She oversees the daily operations of MNCH toll free case management hotline. Novice worked on a variety of Community Health Programmes including the Catholic Health Commission. Novice was previously the Home Based Care Zone Coordinator for Balaka district. At Catholic Development Commission she worked as HIV/AIDS Officer for Namkumba Parish, a Nurse at St Lukes Mission Hospital, and a Palliative Care and Home Based Care Nurse for the College of Medicine. Novice holds a Certificate in Nursing and Midwife Technician from Malawi College for Health Sciences.  She has also been trained in palliative care, home based care, HIV/AIDS counseling in children, and herbal medicine production and management.  

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Hannah_JamesHanna James joined VillageReach as a volunteer for the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Innovations Project in January 2012. She now works as a Chipatala cha pa foni (Health Centre by Phone) Hotline Worker. As a Hotline Worker, she supports the community by providing advice, information and referrals to pregnant women and caregivers of young children through a free phone service run out of the district hospital in Balaka. Hanna has an Advanced Diploma in Public Health. 

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Picture2Doreen joined VillageReach as a Hotline Worker in September 2011. Prior to joining VillageReach, she worked with Save the Children as a Health Surveillance Assistant under the Child Survival Programme, Malaria Programme, and Support to Family Health Programme from 1996 to 2000. She also worked with WorldVision Malawi as a Development Facilitator for Family planning and HIV/AIDS from 2001 to 2006. Doreen holds a Malawi Junior Certificate and has a Health Surveillance Assistant certificate and Community Based Distributor Agent Certificate for family planning.  

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Beauty Waekha joined Village Reach in April 2014 as a Hotline Nurse. She holds a Bachelor of Schience in Public Health, a Diploma in nursing and midwifery, certificates in Prevention from Mother to Child Transmission, monitoring and evaluation, human resources for health and has attended training in basic emergency management for obstetric conditions and quality assurance. She has two years practical experience in labor ward, postnatal ward antenatal, family planning and under five children. She has worked with Machinga municipality in implementing Public Health Laws. 

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Robert_SaitiRobert Saiti is the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for the ICT to Improve Health Services for Mothers and Children Project in VillageReach’s Balaka Office.  Robert originally joined VillageReach as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the ICT to Improve Health Services for Mothers and Children Project in July of 2012 before becoming the M&E Officer. Previously, Robert worked as a volunteer with VillageReach. He also worked as an Environmental Health Officer (Trainee) with the Ministry of Health in the Balaka and Machinga District Health Offices. Robert has a BSc. in Environmental Health. 

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SaitiSaiti is responsible for all aspects of the project, including project design and implementation, personnel, and finance and administration. He joined VillageReach in January 2012.

Before joining VillageReach, Saiti was the associate director of programs – HIV/AIDS for Frank Management Consultants, a Nairobi-based management consulting firm with a number of contracts in Lilongwe for health related programs. His responsibilities included working with the government and NGOs to design and assess programs covering health, HIV and orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). Prior to joining the consulting firm, he was the program officer for Essential Health Services and Governance for the Malawi Health Equity Network. In this role, he led the Malawi Health Equity Network’s Health Service Delivery Satisfaction Study and Access to Medicines study and campaign. Saiti has held a number of senior government positions: he was the director of Health and Social Services for the City of Mzuzu and the assistant director of Health and Environmental Services for the City of Zomba, and as well as an environmental health officer in Mangochi, Karonga, Lilongwe and Zomba districts early in his career.

Saiti has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health, and significant experience working directly with communities to create high quality, cost-effective health and economic development interventions. 

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Charles IsaacCharles Isaac also joined Village Reach in April 2009. Charles is responsible for 2 Villages: Chipumi and Kasonya with a total population of 1168. Before joining VillageReach, Charles worked as an HTC Volunteer at the Kwitanda Health Center for 3 years. Isaac focuses on village inspections and promotion of sanitation and personal hygiene in the community he serves.
Charles holds a Malawi Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) certificate obtained in 1999. He also has certificates of attendance in: HIV Testing and Counseling (HTC), Community Therapeutic Care (CTC) and Basic First Aid. 

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Gladys KaseloGladys Kaselo joined VillageReach in May 2009. She is stationed at Dziwe area, managing 3 Villages: Sitima, Kasonya and Chipumi with a total population of 858. Gladys also operates a village clinic in her area.

Gladys received a Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE), which she obtained in 2006. She also has certificate in Participatory and Hygiene Transformation (PHAST), and certificates in First Aid (2008) and Community Therapeutic Care (2009). Gladys has recently been trained in maternal and neonatal health, which is aimed at reducing maternal deaths and new born children. The knowledge gained will be of help to the community in her catchment area, especially the pregnant women owing to the long distance which they cover (about 19 kilometers) to Kwitanda health centre to seek maternal health.

Before she joined VillageReach, Gladys worked as volunteer teacher at Nsambadzi Primary School in Balaka. 

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Catherine KazembeCatherine Kazembe joined VillageReach in April 2009. Catherine serves 2 Villages: Malunga and Gwaladi with a total population of 690.
She holds a Malawi junior certificate which she obtained in 2005. She also holds a certificate in Community Based Therapeutic Care (CTC), obtained in 2009. Catherine is one of the HSAs engaged in sanplat casting and installation in her catchment area. So far Catherine has casted 84 sanplats, i.e. for 84 households and of the 84 households 23 have so far managed to construct pit latrines and installed the sandlots. 

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Mackson KhalawakoMackson Khalawako joined VillageReach in September 2008. He serves a population of 971 from two villages: Bakili and Makande. In addition to the health surveillance assistant’s duties, Mackson also manages a village clinic in his catchment area. His performance has won the hearts of many people in his catchment area. Since he started implementing a village clinic in May 2010, Mackson has managed to see 846 children. This is a clear indication that many mothers take their U/5 sick children to him for treatment.

Mackson is a holder of a Malawi Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) obtained in 1997.

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Antsey LwanaAnstey Lwanda joined VillageReach in June 2010. Anstey is currently undergoing orientation at Balaka district hospital and will soon be posted to Chikamana Village. The village has a population of 912. Prior to joining VillageReach, Anstey worked as a health surveillance assistant at Malawi College of Medicine in the Rota Vaccine Project for 2 years. In 1999 she was employed by Balaka Town Assembly as an HSA health Surveillance Assistant.
Anstey is a holder of Malawi School Certificate of Education. In addition, she holds a certificate as a trained health surveillance assistant from Mwanza Primary Health Care (PHC) Centre, obtained in 1999.  

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Pemphero has worked with Zomba DHO in similar (HSA) position and Zaone Extension Planning Area in Zomba in the area of community nutrition besides being engaged as an enumerator in some research work. More info to come!  

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MzEE RuthAs the Mozambique Country Director, Ruth is responsible for the overall programmatic and administrative aspects of the organization in Mozambique, serving as the primary representative of Mozambique operations to the government and to VillageReach’s Seattle headquarters.

Ruth brings a valuable last mile perspective with experience in designing, implementing, and monitoring development programs in both Mozambique and Swaziland. Prior to joining VillageReach, Ruth worked with the Vanderbilt University and the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health as well as with Oxfam Great Britain and Helvetas. In addition, Ruth brings years of experience in linking local community level challenges to national and above national policy debates and advocacy.

Ruth has an MSc in Managing Rural Change from the University of London, Imperial College.  

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Aida_CoelhoAida Marina Coelho holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and a Masters of Public Health from Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia. Having worked at the Ministry of Education for 10 years in various management capacities, her experience includes coordinating the national program of direct support to schools, implementing the Strategy to Prevent and Combat Alcohol and Drugs, and managing the national expansion of the Geração Biz project focusing on sexual and reproductive health. Her experience in planning, implementation, monitoring, and supervision for programs focusing on promoting good health and strong coordination with government, NGO, international organization, and donor partners is valuable in her role as VillageReach Mozambique’s Program Officer where she joined in 2011. As Program Officer, she is responsible for monitoring and supervising the Dedicated Logistics System in the various provinces with a focus on implementation planning and technical management.  

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Based in Maputo, Katia is responsible for finance, Human Resource, Admin and logistics management. She manages the organization policies and procedures to ensure compliance. Katia holds a Degree in Administration and Management from the Univesidade Apolytecnica de MocambiquePreviously, she worked for Malonda Foundation as Financial and Administration Manager. In this position she was also the delegated representative for the foundation in Maputo.  Katia has also worked for Ernst & Young as a senior external auditor. She brings 14 years of experience in finance and admin management. In VillageReach, Katia is responsible for finance, Human Resource, Admin and logistics management. She manages the organization policies and procedures to ensure compliance. Katia holds a Degree in Administration and Management from the Univesidade Apolytecnica de Mocambique.

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Alberto Benedito Mabote joined VillageReach in 2011 as the Field Officer for Gaza province. Previously, he worked at Pathfinder International in the Global Leader in Reproductive Health project as a Technical Advisor. He also brings 13 years of experience as the Gaza Province Immunization Manager where he implemented various strategies for immunization, managed epidemiological surveillance activities for vaccine preventable vaccines, and oversaw vaccine logistics for the province. As the Field Officer, he is responsible for ensuring the Dedicated Logistics System is implemented in Gaza province, providing technical assistance to our government partners, and monitoring the success of the implementation. Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5

Picture4Margarida António Matsinhe joined VillageReach in 2011 as the Maputo Field Officer.  Her responsibilities are to implement and monitor the Dedicated Logistics System in Maputo province, and to provide technical support for the other provinces. Margarida worked for the Ministry of Health for 31 years in PAV management; one of her most important positions was that of provincial director of health, which she held for 10 years in Maputo Province.  During her career, Margarida was trained in the areas of public health, epidemiology, health management, and planning and administration in health.  She has also participated in various seminars and internships in several countries such as Congo Brazzaville, Angola, Malawi, Swaziland, Cape Verde, and Brazil.  Margarida graduated in preventive medicine at a local institute, and specialized in public health and program management at the University of São Paulo in Brazil.  Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5

Antonio_GasparAntónio Gaspar Tomboloco joined VillageReach in April 2012 occupying the position of Niassa Field Officer. As Field Officer for Niassa Province, António is responsible for implementing and monitoring the Dedicated Logistics System and training local staff.  António worked in PAV for more than 25 years. He was trained as trainer for APE’s in the Republic of South Africa, and participated in various trainings in matters related to PAV. He trained APE’s (Elementary Polyvalent Agents) in Caia, Sofala Province and held the position of Head of Community Health in Chemba and Marracuene in Central and South Mozambique, respectively. António also worked at DPS Maputo in various positions with relevance to the following:  Head of Provincial Department of Planning, Head of the Malaria Program and Advisor for Epidemiological Surveillance of DPS Maputo. Antonio has a Certificate of Preventive Medicine by Maputo Health Sciences Institute. Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5


Andre  is responsible for managing the accounts for all program funds as well as production of monthly financial reports in coordination with the Seattle office. Previously, he worked at CLUSA as Finance Manager and also for FDC as Finance and Grants Manager.    He also worked for several years in the finance department with the Mozambique Ministry of Planning and Development at district level as district finance Advisor.  He brings 14 years of experience in accounting and finance management.   Andre holds a Diploma in Finance. 

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With a background in planning and management, experience in the private sector and NGO sector logistics, Alvaro brings a new set of skills and experience to the Mozambique team. He worked for several years with private sector companies including for Unilever as a Logistician Supply Chain Manager, and later as a Supply Chain Director for PSI.  In VillageReach Alvaro will lead the HERMES modeling work and the subsequent national supply chain system re-design. He will also lead our work around engagement of the private sector 

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ErinErin Larsen-Cooper is responsible for supporting the design, implementation and evaluation of health system programs at VillageReach. Erin brings experience in analyzing health and logistics data for program improvement, monitoring and evaluation. Prior to joining VillageReach, Erin worked in various public health and non-profit settings, including serving as a community health volunteer in Uganda for the United States Peace Corps. Erin holds a MPH in Community Oriented Public Health Practice, an MSW in Community Centered Integrative Practice from the University of Washington and a BS in Community Health from Western Washington University. 

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As Program Manager, Wendy Prosser is responsible for the design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of health system program for VillageReach in Mozambique. Efforts in Mozambique seek to streamline vaccine logistics with an improved logistics management information system and transport services. Wendy has over a decade of global health experience in program development and management, research and analysis, capacity building, and behavior change communications. This experience has taken her to Mozambique, Malawi, Angola, Kenya, and South Africa in various public health settings, starting with Peace Corps in Cape Verde. Wendy holds a MPA in International Development and Global Health from the University of Washington. 

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MelissaMelissa Sanchez works with the Health Systems Group to support the design and oversight of impact and process evaluations in addition to ongoing monitoring activities for various programs. Melissa is also responsible for supporting programmatic activities in Malawi and for the development of policy- and advocacy-related materials.   Prior to joining VillageReach, Melissa worked as a high-risk maternal and infant care nurse at the University of Washington Medical Center, interned for the Programme for the Awareness and Elimination of Diarrhoea at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia, and managed the Global Health Certificate program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She graduated with a Masters of Public Health with a concentration in global maternal and child health from the University of North Carolina in 2013.  Melissa brings knowledge of international and domestic health care experience as well as vaccination programs, pediatric HIV care, and program management. 

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Vidya WebsiteVidya Sampath works on the design and oversight of impact and process evaluations of various HSG programs, while providing technical and management assistance to day-to-day project implementation and advocacy work.  Vidya has over five years of international development experience in South Asia and East Africa, carrying out project start-up efforts, implementation, M&E, trainings, capacity-building, and community-based and lead participatory research. Prior to joining VillageReach, Vidya worked with Plan International, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the World Health Organization. Vidya holds an MSPH in International Health Systems from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a BA in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College 

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