Our Approach

We ensure all of our programmes improve access to healthcare in rural communities, in a way that builds capacity within the health system. Aiming to develop programmes that can be replicated by the Ministry of Health, or partner organisations, to maximise and sustain impact.

On Call Africa operates at each level of the health system, helping to shape policy and design quality programmes. While also piloting and testing programmes at rural health facility, and community level, to build evidence of what does and doesn’t work.

We work at a number of levels to ensure that we are taking a holistic approach to building capacity within the health system. We understand that building capacity at community level will only have a limited impact if health facilities are unable to treat patients who have been referred. Taking a top-down approach to shaping policy will not allow for community voices to be heard, it’s important they are included in the decision making processes. Piloting and learning help us to understand which approaches are most effective.

On Call Africa collaborate with the Ministry of Health, supporting the achievement of their strategic objectives, which aim to improve access to quality healthcare for rural communities. During Covid-19 in 2020 our volunteers supported the development of national protocols for Community Based Volunteers, ensuring the safe continuation of services. Guidelines for the continuation of TB services were also developed. Over the last three years we are proud to have supported the Community Health Unit to develop a standardised community health service package, and a standardised Community Based Volunteer programme. This body of work aims to address the fragmentation of Community Based Volunteer programmes in Zambia and improves access to, and quality of care.

Provincial level

We work with the Southern Province Health Office to identify Districts that are most in need of support and capacity building, and which programmes would best address their needs. We also identify capacity building gaps where they would benefit from support of volunteers or skilled staff. Whether that be through virtual placement in COVID-19 incident management teams, or more formal placements within the health office to support a specific task.

District level

Working in close partnership with District Health Offices to identify Rural Health Facilities that will benefit from our programmes. We also support strategic planning sessions with the Districts, identifying the biggest health concerns in their region, developing both strategic and implementation plans for public health interventions. Our aim is to support the piloting and roll out of these interventions, building evidence for adoption across the districts.

Rural Health Facilities

Identifying how best to support the improvement of quality of care at the health facility. Whether that be through training and support, data management, or the provision of infrastructure and medical equipment. Our team work alongside health workers and CBVs, to assess the overall functionality of the facilities and to develop quality improvement plans. On Call Africa then work with health workers, CBVs, community members, partners and MOH to deliver these plans and assess impact, before handing over the facility to the relevant District health office to ensure sustainability.


Through Community Based Volunteers and existing community structures we work with the facilities to develop programmes that improve access to quality healthcare, and health outcomes. We also support the strengthening of Community Based Volunteer programmes, and of the community structures, by delivering high quality training, and by providing support to build local capacity.

We use learning from our community programmes to help inform national policy, as well piloting national programmes at community level.

To find out more about what we do visit here.