World Health & Population

World Health & Population 17(3) September 2017 : 18-30.doi:10.12927/whp.2017.25308
Enhancing Harmonization

Enhancing Harmonization to Ensure Alignment of Partners, Implementation and Priorities for Provision of Quality Primary Healthcare to Communities in Rural Zambia

Fastone M. Goma, Paul Akisa Ngwakum and Caroline Phiri-Chibawe


This paper discusses the processes of harmonization of various approaches by partners that have been implemented in Zambia, in an attempt to overcome the fragmented implementation of community-based primary healthcare (CBPHC) systems strengthening, facilitated by multiple non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and donors, impeding country ownership and nationalization. To achieve equitable and sustained improvements in health, social and economic development outcomes for all, there is evidence that governments should consider building CBPHC systems based on three legs namely:

  1. Front-line health workers trained, supervised and able to deliver services;
  2. Community engagement through interactions to enhance community participation and Social Accountability for delivery of healthcare services.
  3. Enabling environments through strengthening of community health systems

To realize a harmonized approach and alignments, the government and key stakeholders must uphold a common vision ensuring that all the three legs of CBPHC systems are implemented to scale. In evaluating the health system in Zambia and the related healthcare provision at community level, gaps were identified in the available mechanisms for the provision of quality CBPHC thus necessitating processes of harmonization, that include capacity building and orientations at all levels on importance of taking to scale the three legs of CBPHC systems, revision of the Community Health Strategy, and elaboration of Operational Guide for Neighbourhood Health Committees, clarifying the role of NHC as platform for community engagement and Community-Based Volunteers (CBVs). There is need for harmonization of health systems at national, provincial, district, zonal and communal levels to ensure the delivery of quality, cost-effective healthcare as close to the family as possible . 



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