Three U.S.-Funded Projects Strengthen Health Services in Zambia

Lusaka. November 20, 2014.

LUSAKA – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the Zambian Government, has strengthened health service delivery and expanded HIV prevention across Zambia through three health projects: the Communication Support for Health (CSH) project, the Zambia Integrated Systems Strengthening Program (ZISSP), and the Zambia-led Prevention Initiative (ZPI). The USAID-supported projects, with funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the President’s Malaria Initiative, engaged individuals and communities across the country to bring health care closer to the people, reaching well over five million Zambians.

Using a community-based service delivery model and working with a broad range of partners, the CSH, ZISSP and ZPI projects, valued at $170 million, successfully supported the goals of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health to strengthen health services across the country.

The accomplishments of the three projects were highlighted at a culmination event on November 20, 2014, which was graced by Dr. Charlotte Harland Scott as the guest of honor. Speaking at the event, USAID/Zambia Mission Director Dr. Susan K. Brems said, “I am honored to join you today to celebrate the accomplishments of these three health projects. Their success would not have been possible without our collaborative and productive partnership with the government and people of Zambia.”

The positive impact of the three projects has been felt across all the ten provinces of Zambia. In partnership with the Ministry of Health, CSH developed four nationwide innovative health communication campaigns in malaria, reproductive health, HIV, and nutrition. CSH also developed and produced the award-winning TV drama series, Love Games, which reached almost 70 percent of the Zambian population and another three million viewers across 38 countries in Africa. In partnership with multiple ministries, ZISSP strengthened the delivery of health services across Zambia, boosting efficiency and coordination through improved planning processes, updated clinical guidelines and training manuals, and strengthened human resource management.

As a community-based project, ZPI reached over 625,000 people with community-led HIV prevention activities in 41 districts; provided HIV counseling and testing to 216,400 people; engaged 16,020 people in economic strengthening; and reached 96,500 people with community-level interventions that addressed gender-based violence and coercion related to HIV. ZISSP and CSH trained over 3,000 community members as safe motherhood counselors and distributed more than two million birth plans nationwide, which meant that many more pregnant women delivered at health facilities.

With ZISSP support, the Zambian government trained and mentored over 12,000 health workers to improve the quality of services at health facilities. A total of 552 health care workers received Higher Diplomas in Management from the National Institute of Public Administration. ZPI also trained over 10,000 community health and para-social workers. CSH trained and mentored 200 political and traditional leaders as champions for safe motherhood and worked closely with the private sector to find a sustainable way to distribute child feeding bowls.

To prevent malaria, ZISSP reached 2,549,693 households with indoor residual spraying, and CSH health campaigns improved use of insecticide-treated nets by almost 30 percent. ZISSP also strengthened the skills of 3,828 health workers and community health workers in malaria testing and treatment.

CSH, ZISSP, and ZPI were managed by Chemonics International, Abt Associates, and FHI360, respectively.