Case Study Brief: Health centre committee involvement in local government planning for health in Zambia
Zambia is a lower middle income country, with economic growth but also with persistently high levels of poverty and socio-economic inequality. Malaria was the leading cause of death in both children and adults in 2010 according to the Ministry of Health. The country’s profile of both communicable and non- communicable diseases calls for prevention, early detection and care. Zambia thus gives priority to improved environments and food safety, control of epidemic outbreaks, health promotion and primary health care services for family health, communicable and chronic conditions. Most of the population use public sector and faith-based services, although there are also private services such as those provided by mining companies, private practices and traditional healers.
The Ministry of Health is responsible for health care, with the Ministry of Community Development and Child Health and the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.
Health services are provided at health posts (HPs) and health centres (HCs) at community level, who refer to district hospitals, then provincial hospitals and then national tertiary hospitals. The priority areas raised above mean that primary care services need to be available, accessible and to have good outreach to local communities, to improve health.