AMP Health Launches Community Health and EPI Work in Zambia

Members of the new Zambia Community Health Team. (From left to right) Dr. Sylvia Chila Simwanza, Dylan Edwards, Rosemary Masilani

Members of the new Zambia Community Health Team. (From left to right) Dr. Sylvia Chila Simwanza, Dylan Edwards, Rosemary Masilani

The Aspen Management Partnership for Health (AMP Health) will launch partnerships with two program areas within the Zambia Ministry of Health (MoH), including embedding a Management Partner (MP), in both the Community Health and Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) teams in 2018.

The Zambia MoH recognizes the need for a robust community health strategy and in 2017 began working on its National Community Health Strategy (NCHS). The goal of the strategy will be to strengthen the mechanisms and protocols needed to improve the provision of preventive, promotive, and minor curative services at the community level with the intent of increasing access to health care, contributing to enhanced health knowledge and healthy environments, and reducing morbidity and mortality, particularly amongst pregnant women and infants. AMP Health will work with the MoH to:

  • Finalize the Community Health Strategy 2017-2021
  • Develop a costed implementation plan
  • Standardize an approach to integrating existing Community Based Volunteers (CBVs)
  • Foster stronger collaboration amongst the MoH, donors, and partners, including the creation of a technical working group

The Zambia MoH is committed to community health and has allocated dedicated personnel to carry the work forward. Dylan Edwards – the MP for community health – joined the team in May. He brings 10 years of experience in international development working across Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. In addition, he served on the steering committee for the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and holds a MSc in Political Sociology from the London School of Economics.

In contrast to the new community health team, the EPI program in Zambia has been operational for several years and during that time has made great strides towards increasing vaccine coverage across the country and establishing the structures required to drive a successful EPI program. As the Zambian population grows in both urban and rural areas that are sometimes hard-to-reach, the MoH is committed to increasing coverage and equity of immunizations to improve health outcomes for infants. AMP Health will work with the MoH to:

  • Strengthen health systems (as related to the EPI program)
  • Bolster governance and coordination amongst the MoH and partners
  • Improve vaccine management
  • Enhance program supervision at sub-national levels

Vako Tamaklo – the MP for EPI – will join a well-established EPI team with deep technical expertise in October. She will bring 8 years of experience in business planning and development, operational delivery within a healthcare context, and leveraging Ghanaian and international strategic partnerships. She holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. 

We are very excited to launch in Zambia and are looking forward to a fruitful partnership with the MoH!