The Zambia Integrated Systems Strengthening Program (ZISSP) was a four-and-a-half year USAID-funded, Abt Associates-led project which increased the use of quality, high-impact health services through a health systems strengthening approach in Zambia.
The ZISSP team employed interventions to strengthen processes and capacity at all levels of the health system, while simultaneously enhancing access to and use of high-impact health services. These services addressed malaria, family planning, HIV and AIDS, and maternal, newborn, and child health and nutrition. ZISSP collaborated with communities to encourage the use of public health services by Zambians and their families.
The program addressed human resource constraints by helping ministry personnel develop better strategies, tools, guidelines, and systems to perform routine planning, management, supervision, and evaluation tasks for delivery of high-impact health services. ZISSP worked closely with the Zambian Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health (MCDMCH) at the national, provincial, and district levels.
ZISSP seeks to strengthen the functioning of Zambia’s health structures at all levels, from the central-level ministries to community-level health service providers. ZISSP also works with community groups to promote increased use of public health services.
ZISSP works to:
• Strengthen the ability of the national-level MOH and MCDMCH to plan, manage, supervise, and evaluate delivery of health services
• Improve skills of health providers and managers in provinces and districts to deliver quality health services
• Improve community education and involvement in the provision and utilization of health services in targeted areas
• Ensure that service delivery and other activities are effectively integrated at all levels of the health system through better partner coordination
ZISSP is helping the ministries to update policies, strategies, and tools; use information for planning and budgeting; and increase community participation in health planning and service delivery. As a result of project interventions, more families and individuals in the 27 project target districts are able to utilize health care services and access information to attain and maintain good health.
• Strengthen the ability of the MOH and MCDMCH at the national level to plan, manage, supervise and evaluate delivery of health services nationwide.
• Improve management and technical skills of health providers and managers in provinces and districts in order to increase the quality and use of health services within target districts.
• Improve community involvement in the provision and utilization of health services in targeted areas.
• Ensure service delivery and other activities are effectively integrated at all appropriate levels in the health system through joint planning and in-kind activities with partners and appropriate public private partnerships.
• ZISSP provided support to the MOH to revise the Misoprostol Guidelines for Management of Post-partum Hemorrhage.
• In 11 ZISSP target districts, the project has built the capacity of community-based Safe Motherhood Action Group (SMAG) leaders and has trained SMAG trainers, with a particular focus on four Saving Mothers Giving Life districts.
• ZISSP awarded grants to 11 local organizations to strengthen their capacity to support disease prevention and health promotion activities.
• ZISSP is assisting the MOH and MCDMCH to build the clinical capacity of health care workers, adolescent health trainers, and community-based family planning product distributors, as well as the communication skills of community health volunteers.