One of On Call Africa’s core values is collaboration. By working together with relevant partners with the right expertise and shared objectives, our impact on the communities we support can only increase.
Our goal is to build capacity within the health system, ensuring we partner with organisations who share the same ethos, and involve the health system in everything we do.
Below are just some of our key partners who help us to strengthen health systems in rural Zambia.
Ministry of Health
We work at all levels of the health system, working towards national objectives whilst meeting locally identified needs.
At national level we work with the Community Health Unit to support the development of national standards for Community health worker programmes and the improvement of digital health systems. We’re responsive to national priorities and provide skilled volunteers who can help to develop national guidelines and protocols, or support small scale pilots to build evidence of where improvements on health care can be improved.
At a regional level we work with the Provincial Health office to understand the biggest health concerns. Together we develop programmes that meet these needs, in collaboration with the province and in response to emerging health challenges. We also work with the province to identify Districts that are most in need of support.
At District level we support strategic planning, as well as the development of implementation plans for public health interventions and programmes. Also working to identify Rural Health Centres that would benefit from support from our skilled volunteers.
At a local level we partner with identified Rural Health Centres, and their hardest to reach health posts. Training health workers, identifying and addressing the biggest causes of poor health, and barriers to quality healthcare. We work intensely at this level of the health system to pilot programmes and share evidence for improved access to healthcare and health behaviours.
On Call Africa are working with Power Roll and Vero Power to bring solar Power to Chalimongela and Kanyanga Rural Health Posts. Both Rural Health Posts currently operate without any power – their facilities are extremely limited. As a result, information systems are poor and quality of care is significantly impacted. Births are currently being delivered by torch light on phones or with no light at all.
Power Roll and Vero Power have been granted Innovate UK funding to test new solar technology which can be easily transported in remote contexts. We aim to build evidence of impact and support efforts to scale up the introduction of power in health facilities alongside our partners.
WaterAid have worked with Ministry of Health to agree a set of minimum standards for WASH in health facilities in Zambia – focusing on water, sanitation, hygiene, accessibility and waste management. Working in partnership with WaterAid we will support the implementation of these standards in 27 rural health facilities in Western Province. This work will be delivered in partnership with District teams to ensure that the work is integrated and embedded within the government to ensure sustainability. On Call Africa will work with WaterAid to build evidence of impact, and share learning to promote wider adoption by Ministry of Health and other NGOs.
MD Sustain support organisations to move towards greater sustainability, by supporting them to assess and address wider environmental impacts and engage stakeholders in the journey. In 2022 On Call Africa completed MD Sustain’s SustainPlus package to help us to develop our environmental policy and define clear and measurable plans for achieving Net Zero by 2050. This has helped us to transparently publish our carbon footprint within our latest annual report and offset unavoidable omissions.
Virtual Doctors provide telemedicine support to Rural Health Centres in order to build capacity. Their ethos is very similar to On Call Africa, they work with skilled volunteers to build long term capacity in a way that can be adopted by government. We’ve an agreement in place where we encourage our volunteers to work across both organisations. Virtual Doctors benefit from volunteers who have hands on experience of the context in Zambia. On Call Africa benefit from volunteers who have had previous exposure to common health concerns in Zambia.
We are also exploring ways that we can work alongside one another within health facilities to maximise impact.
Global Health Corps
Global Health Corps is a leadership development organization devoted to recruiting and training the next generation of leaders in global health equity. They recruit and select highly qualified applicants with diverse skill sets to work with high-impact organizations in year-long paid positions. During their fellowship year, they make a significant and measurable contribution to the placement organization and the target population.
Together we will be providing development opportunities to skilled Zambians, and enhancing On Call Africa’s capacity to deliver high quality programmes.
Rock Stone and Pebbles
Rock Stone and Pebbles is a charity that works to enable children’s right to play – one way they do this is by building capacity in small charities that can facilitate their vision. Rockstone and Pebbles are helping On Call Africa to build operational capacity through the provision of financial expertise, and supporting the development of a robust financial model that will help us improve the way we manage, operate, and report financially. On Call Africa and Rockstone and Pebbles are also working together to explore how play can help to promote the health of people in Zambia, through health promotion and community health worker programmes.
Global Climate and Health Alliance
On Call Africa is a member of the Global Climate and Health Alliance. GCHA aim to tackle climate change and protect and promote public health. It is made up of health NGOs, health professional organisations as well as health and environment alliances from across the globe.
International Forum for Volunteering in Development
Forum is the leading global network of organisations, including non-government and state, that work with volunteers to create sustainable development impact. It also promotes good practice and cooperation across the volunteering for the development sector.
One of our main motivations for wanting to become a member was the idea of sharing our way of working and learn from others on how we can continuously adapt and change to reflect the needs of the communities we work in through international volunteering.