Where we work

A lady using a water pump
On Call Africa Community
On Call Africa Community

A large and geographically dispersed population means only half of Zambians living in rural areas have medical facilities within 5km, and poor roads and a long rainy season make these few facilities even harder to reach. A national healthcare workforce crisis means that there is only one doctor for every 16,000 people in Southern Province, compared to one for every 350 in the UK.

In rural Southern Zambia many people lack access to basic healthcare, and there is poor health literacy, and poor access to amenities and services that promote health in remote communities.

“We keep seeing issues such as poor access to health care, health literacy, and poor access to the amenities that promote health. These issues can be devastating to rural communities, and to their ability to progress. Health care is a basic human right, and a necessity for development. On Call Africa is strengthening rural health care, bringing about long-term change”.

Ben Margetts, Director, On Call Africa.

Rural Health Facilities in Southern Province

In 2010 On Call Africa consulted with the Ministry of Health on the area with the highest need for our work. After being directed to Southern Province, we worked closely with the Provincial Health Office to identify Districts that were in most need of support. Working with those districts (Zimba and Kazungula) we identified three Rural Health Facilities in need of capacity building, and struggling to reach all communities within their catchment area. Using clinical data, and in consultation with Rural Health Facility staff and village leaders we identified three communities attached to each Rural Health Facility to focus our efforts and support.

On Call Africa followed the same consultative process in 2020, when planning our expansion to partner with a further four Rural Health Facilities. As part of our new strategy we now aim to support quality improvements at our partner facilities, and in all communities within their catchment area.