District Coverage of Health Services ( DISCOVER )

Zambia has a largely rural population of 13.1 million, of whom 45% are below the age of 15. Although the population is relatively small, it is geographically scattered, making delivery of equitable and accessible health services and products, particularly for rural dwellers, challenging. Zambia has strong delivery platforms across the public and private sectors, guided by the National Health Strategic Plan. Nonetheless, the country has not met most 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets; achieving them will require sustained and accelerated efforts.

The recently awarded USAID District Coverage of Health Services Project (USAID DISCOVER-Health) will support the efficient and effective control of the HIV epidemic, malaria, childhood illnesses, and unplanned pregnancies in order to reduce associated morbidity and mortality. The vision is to improve the lives of Zambia’s people by ensuring equitable access to and use of high-quality health services and products at both district and community levels.

Working toward this vision, USAID DISCOVER-Health will develop and help sustain a health model that maximizes the relative strengths of the public and private (commercial and non-commercial) sectors to deliver health products and services that reach all beneficiaries and consumer markets. In particular, the project will focus on improving access to and coverage of services for critical populations, including the large majority of Zambians who reside in rural areas, but also specific groups such as adolescents and children, people with disabilities, and older men and younger women who do not traditionally access public health services.

Activity Description

Through implementation of a market-based approach, USAID DISCOVER-Health will serve as a strategic partner and steward to the government of the Republic of Zambia at national, provincial, and district levels in ensuring a conducive policy environment for a total market approach in service and product delivery; conducting and using market-based research to define market segments so that messages, services, and products can be appropriately targeted; and developing partnerships among and between various sectors to help grow and sustain the overall health market in Zambia and to reach underserved populations and areas.

USAID DISCOVER-Health will work across the entire system to assess community needs for the range of services and products, identify partner sites, implement proven and appropriate program interventions, strengthen linkages, and monitor and evaluate their impact to fill gaps not currently served by government and other providers.

The five-year program is led by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. in collaboration with the Palladium Group, and will collaborate and coordinate with other USAID-funded partner organizations and implementing partners working in Zambia on activities related to HIV and TB/HIV, reproductive health/family planning, maternal, newborn and child health, behavior change communication, social marketing, and supply chain management.

Expected Outcomes

• Services in VMMC, HTC, RH/FP, and MCH and TB are more readily available through non-conventional sites and used by more people in the target groups
• High-quality health products are more available, accessible and affordable
• Establish PPPs to increase the utilization and diversity of socially-marketed health product