Coronavirus (Covid-19)

As with many other charities Covid-19 has had a huge impact, In March 2020 we made the difficult decision to cancel our usual activity and volunteer doctors travelling to Zambia were put on hold until January 2021. Here we outline the work carried out in 2020 in order to continue supporting the health system in Zambia, and the adapted programme that took place between January and April 2021, once our volunteers return.

Nakitindi sensitisaiton 4
Nakitindi sensitisaiton 6

Project outline 2021

Between January and April 2021 we met the immediate needs of the health system in Southern Province, while supporting long term health system strengthening, and improved health outcomes through strategic planning and quality improvement projects at different levels of the health system. We will do this through the following activities:

  • Delivered direct consultations, advice and treatment within Livingstone, Kazungula and Zimba district hospitals, where they were overwhelmed due to an increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the region. Doctors were placed based on their specialism, to match the needs of these hospitals. The volunteer doctors also formed part of their respective District Incident Management teams for Covid-19, to support strategic planning to improve the response
  • Supported the Community Health Unit at the Ministry of Health to design a model service package for rural health facilities, and began development of implementation plans to pilot in the communities that we work. We also supported the unit to begin developing a standardised Community Health Worker programme to improve the quality of care in remote communities.
  • Ran strategic planning sessions with Livingstone, Zimba and Kazungula District Health Offices to identify the biggest health concerns in their districts and support the development of public health intervention plans to address these. We now intend to support the district health offices to implement and test their plans.
  • Medical students were placed on the same wards as our volunteers, where they had the opportunity to work with and learn from specialists that they would otherwise not been exposed to. Students also participated in our strategic planning sessions with district health offices and the community health unit, as part of the public health aspect of their courses.
Nakitindi sensitisaiton web

Our work in 2020

As we adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, pausing our rural activity in order to limit the spread of the virus. On Call Africa switched to focus on supporting the national and regional response through our team, and our dedicated network of volunteers. This involved:

  • Worked with the Ministry of Health to develop national protocols for Community Health Workers,  helping to keep them safe and informed through Covid-19, and to ensure the safe continuation of vital services
  • Supported the development of a national contingency plan for the continuation of TB services
  • Established ourselves as key players in the community health Covid-19 response network – advising other partners on their response
  • Donated medicine to the Southern Province Health Office
  • Contributed to provincial and district (Livingstone) Incident Management Command meetings to discuss regional response
  • Provided vehicles and staff to facilitate Livingstone District Health Office Community sensitization programme
  • Trained local NGO staff on Covid-19 and key messages to share to ensure they are aligned with national strategy
  • Ran a campaign to procure PPE for provincial health office
  • Helped to co-ordinate the regional response amongst a network of collaborative NGOs, helping to ensure efforts were not duplicated, and met the most immediate needs.

For more information on what we do please click here.

Nakitindi sensitisaiton 2