Paul Atherton

As trustee what’s your role?

To have ultimate responsibility for the charity. Ensuring we improve health outcomes for the people of Zambia. The role has to be flexible – keeping an eye on the finances, risks, and making sure the team are happy and well supported.

What do you do when you’re not supporting On Call Africa?

I run an advisory firm in development. We specialise in supporting education systems across the developing world – and when I’m not doing that, I like cooking and going out for a long, peaceful run!

Why is On Call Africa important to you?

Small charities like On Call Africa, working directly with poor, rural communities, are the lynchpin of the development community.

What is the biggest challenge for the charity over the next 3 years?

Managing growth while ensuring ongoing stability. On Call Africa needs to increase its funding in order for us to continue delivering our current support but also reach new communities. Covid-19 has dramatically changed the world, in terms of health needs but also in terms of the ability for doctors to travel. We rely on volunteer doctors and travel restrictions have put a strain on this.

How do you work with the Ministry of Health?

We work with the Ministry of Health to co-design programmes that strengthen the rural health system in Southern Province. Also ensuring that the programmes are designed in a way that can be adopted and scaled by the Ministry of Health or other NGOs

One of the key areas of focus is to Increase the capacity of rural health systems, how will you go about this?

We focus our efforts primarily on the training, support and supervision of health workers, such as Community Health Workers. To build their capacity and ensure they are integrated into the health system. Our training and support is key for long term sustainability.  We also work with partners to help address underlying causes of poor health, and to improve the quality of services available. The Community Health Workers are the most trusted health partners in the community.

To meet more of our fantastic team please click here.