1. Provide improved and equitable access to healthcare in remote communities
On Call Africa place volunteer doctors in Rural Health Facilities and embed them in the communities that they are serving during their placement with us. The volunteers carry out structured placements that are based on one of four phases of work: assessment and planning; delivery; monitoring, evaluation and learning; or handover. Volunteers work in partnership with Rural Health Facility staff to facilitate rather than replace existing service provision, and use this direct engagement to inform our programme design and delivery. Volunteer doctors deliver services in a way that is designed to build capacity, in a time limited way, to ensure the sustainability of improved access. These placements are used as an opportunity to train and support the development of Community Health Workers, who act as the first point of contact for their communities. We aim to build sustainable long term improved and equitable access to healthcare by improving transport links both from and to Rural Health Facilities for staff visiting communities for monthly outreach, and for patients who need to visit.
2. Strengthen rural health systems
Community Health Workers are trained to work within the existing health system to improve access to healthcare and to increase the capacity of Rural Health Centres. Helping to respond to health needs of sparsely populated catchment areas. We also work with then, and District Health Offices (DHOs), to identify capacity building needs and delivered tailored programmes to respond to these needs with the help of skilled partners. These include access to solar power, improved medical facilities, training of health workers, improved water and sanitation, improved data systems and access to telemedicine.
At national level, we work with the Ministry of Health to support the development of national policies and guidelines that enhance the rural health system at scale.
As a part of our efforts to strengthen rural healthcare systems in Zambia, we provide a training programme to enable Community Health Workers to provide healthcare services to their communities. Components of the training programme include on-clinic training, where the Community Health Workers shadow volunteer doctors and assist with running community clinics. The Community Health Workers also assist at the rural health centre as a part of their training.
3. Improve health behaviours
Extensive research is carried out through household surveys, by reviewing clinical data, and through community consultation to identify the biggest health concerns in each community. On Call Africa uses this information to develop tailored health promotion programmes; helping to improve health literacy and access to amenities that promote health. In order to achieve this we work in partnership with government departments to support and enhance existing programmes, or work with NGO partners with relevant expertise, to ensure that interventions are delivered to a high standard. Our current public health interventions focus on water, sanitation, hygiene, menstrual health, and nutrition.