Zambia: Strengthening National Capacity to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria

This case study outlines the remarkable progress that Zambia has made in tackling HIV, TB and malaria. The country has strengthened its health system and increased access of care and treatment to many of its citizens resulting in decreases in diagnosis and deaths from all three diseases. By the end of 2014, more than 580,000 people had access to antiretroviral therapy (ART), HIV diagnosis has fallen by 25% and deaths caused by AIDs have halved. Alongside this, Zambia has achieved universal coverage of TB-DOTS and the MDG target of halting and beginning to reverse the TB epidemic by 2015. The TB case detection rate is above 80 per cent and nearly 90 per cent of the 30,000 TB cases in Zambia in 2012 were successfully treated. There has been expansion of malaria prevention and treatment with  a mass distribution of bed nets underway in 2014.

All of this has been done in the face of prolonged capacity constraints in health, infrastructure, procurement and monitoring and evaluation and other key civil sectors.  Currently the UNDP acts as the Principal Recipient (PR) of Global Funds however by focusing on capacity building in key areas the Zambian Ministry of Health (MOH) is now in a strong position to resume these functions (subject to review from Global Health Fund). This case study examines how this process has occurred, key findings in this report include:

  • The UNDP has played a key role in ensuring continued funding for HIV, TB and Malaria programmes
  • At the same time the UNDP has supported an ambitious capacity development programme; successes of which included;

-       Established of management unit that can better coordinate donor resources

-       Technological upgrades for better financial management in the health sector

-       Significant investments in training at national, local and district levels

  • Success for these efforts came from;

-       Strong political commitment and support from all levels of government

-       Effective collaborate between UNDP and MOH; including the embedding of UNDP staff in the Ministry

-       Programme complimented other system strengthening efforts

  • Ongoing investment in strengthening national systems and human resources will help provide maintainable services to vulnerable people in the future.

Drawing upon these lessons, it is suggested that other countries should consider including capacity development efforts in application for Global Health Funds

Year of publication: 
Other collections
Themes and sectors: 
Aid management
Themes and sectors: 
Health sector
Case story length: 
27 pages

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