World Bank to Help Zambia Improve Health Delivery Systems

March 21, 2014

 $67 million to improve the utilization of maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition services

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2014 – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a US$52 million IDA* credit and US$15 million grant to help Zambia improve its health delivery systems and utilization of maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition services. The project will directly benefit about 1.2 million women of reproductive age including pregnant and lactating women. It will also benefit   about 1.1 million under-5 children.  

The project will support Government’s efforts to accelerate progress towards maternal and child health MDGs. It will also support the country to be better prepared in tackling emerging challenges, especially non-communicable diseases. It is expected to strengthen service delivery, while focusing on results and reducing inequities, particularly in Zambia’s five low performing,  poorer and  underserved provinces of Western, North-Western, Northern, Muchinga and Luapula.

Commenting on the news of the Board’s approval, the Country Director for Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe, Kundhavi Kadiresan said, “The Project will specifically support supply side interventions such as improving the availability of skilled care, increasing the availability of health and nutrition commodities, strengthening referral linkages through results-based approaches, and institutional capacity building.”

The Task Team Leader of the Project, Netsanet Walelign Workie, itemized the structure of the five year project and how it will be implemented under three components.

  • Component 1: Will focus on enhancing training capacity and standards for nursing and midwifery; improve supply chain systems for essential commodities, and   referral system and linkages across levels of care.
  • Component 2: will build on the on-going Result Based Financing (RBF) pilot to strengthen the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and nutrition service delivery, with specific focus on increasing supply and demand side efficiency and reaching underserved population. This component will also play a critical role to enhance community participation in the improvement of service delivery
  • Component 3: will focus on strengthen project management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. It will support Government's efforts to produce evidence-based analytical studies in health and nutrition, including health financing, planning and budgeting, human resources for health, and drugs and medical supplies.

“This project focus on broadening sharing of social and health services to the poor and under-served, and will enhance the Government’s health sector vision of “equity of access to assured quality, cost-effective and affordable health services as close to the family as possible” said Netsanet Walelign Workie.

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing zero-interest loans and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $16 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.

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