Today, as the sun rises over the rural villages of South Africa's Eastern Cape Province, community members witness what is becoming a common sight. A motorbike speeds by and its driver readily waves; today he does not stop to chat. He is Mtiteto Mfikile and he has work to do. Meanwhile, a village nurse hears the beep of her cell phone and she too gets to work - an SMS message from a nearby laboratory gives her TB smear results of a patient. She can start appropriate treatment now.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, the Kenyan government struggled with economic decline, high inflation, and rapid population growth. The nation's growing health needs, including those related to HIV/AIDS, placed additional demands on limited government resources. As a result, increasing numbers of Kenyans, especially the poor, were without access to basic health care. To address these problems, the government spearheaded an initiative to improve the quality and scale of its health programs while controlling costs.

PROCOSI network participants. {Photo by MSH staff.}Photo by MSH staff.

Home to over 8.3 million people, Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. According to the World Bank, approximately 67 percent of the population is poor, with low levels of education, health and nutrition. For the many NGO's working to improve the health of Bolivia's rural poor, maintaining support for their initiatives is a perpetual challenge.PROCOSI, a Bolivian consortium of 24 member non-governmental organizations, is no exception.