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Strengthening Community Health in Zambia

D-tree is thrilled to have entered a partnership with On Call Africa in Zambia to demonstrate a digitally enabled community health system with potential for national scale.

The landscape of community health in Zambia is undergoing a transformative shift. The Zambia Ministry of Health has made significant strides in strengthening community health infrastructure and improving access to essential health services. In 2018, they established a coordinating Community Health Unit, and in August 2022, this unit released a revised National Community Health Strategy outlining a vision for a professionalized community health workforce capable of delivering integrated health services to all Zambians. This strategy is meant to address the current fragmentation in the community health system, with parallel cadres of community based volunteers (similar to what other countries call community health volunteers or workers) delivering different services to the same population (malaria, maternal health, HIV). The potential for a truly integrated system, and the expectations of what this will mean for the health worker, is tremendous.

On Call Africa is a close partner of the Ministry of Health in Zambia, working to train community based volunteers so that they are fit to provide a wide range of basic healthcare services – from malaria and infectious diseases to maternal and child health. On 20 November, D-tree officially entered a partnership with On Call Africa to equip the community health workers with a digital solution that can support them as they deliver crucial health services in communities. 

“The solution will align with Zambia’s community health strategy and vision. By March 2023, we’ll have a blueprint of the solution, paving the way for a more integrated and efficient community health system.”, says Patrick Mukupa, Programs Manager at D-tree in Zambia.

The challenges the community health system is facing in Zambia are similar to those we have seen in Zanzibar and D-tree believes we can draw on those learnings and replicate parts of our successful work in Zanzibar where we have supported the Ministry of Health with Jamii ni Afya, a digitally enabled community health program, now serving nearly all households of Zanzibar. 

“We are excited to have entered this partnership with D-tree. As we have started training community based volunteers in Zambia we can increasingly see the need for a digital tool to support them as they carry out their jobs”, says Steven Miti, Project Officer, On Call Africa.

The initiative aims to support the Ministry of Health in establishing a robust body of evidence showcasing the impact of delivering an innovative integrated care package as closely as possible to individuals’ homes. D-tree is grateful to have received funding from Crown Family Philanthropies to cover the design phase of the digital solution, but for this to reach the full potential to roll this transformative solution out across multiple regions, we need more support.

If you are interested in partnering with us to shape the future of community health in Zambia, please get in touch at

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