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Implemented over a period of 5 years from 2017 to 2022, the "Health System Strengthening Programme for Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health and Social Accountability" has made notable progress towards achieving universal health coverage in Western and Central Provinces.


Launched in October 2017, the Progamme was a joint initiative of the Government of Zambia and the United Nations in Zambia, with funding from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The Programme focused on the following:

  1. Government service delivery through which provincial, district and health facilities implemented high impact Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH&N) interventions;
  2. Complementary demand driven technical assistance by the UN Agencies;
  3. Social accountability;
  4. Leadership and governance focused interventions tailored to advance ongoing health sector reforms.

In 2019, the Health System Strengthening Programme was redesigned to focus on two areas aligned to key national priorities namely:

  1. Family planning and adolescent sexual and reproductive health, implemented by UNFPA
  2. Mother, child health and nutrition interventions, implemented by UNICEF

The UNFPA-led Zambia Integrated Family Planning and Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (FP-ASRH) Programme sought to improve the health and wellbeing of women and adolescents in Central and Western Provinces, while providing catalytic support to strengthen policy and health systems at national level. The Programme covered 138 health facilities, of which 78 are located in 16 districts of Western Province, and 60 located in 12 districts of Central Province.


Overall, the FP-ASRH Programme has made remarkable contribution to the health sector in the two target Provinces. The Programme evaluation highlighted increased utilisation of sexual and reproductive health services among women and adolescent girls through high quality, public sector delivery channels, as well as improved capacity among health workers to deliver innovative and integrated quality family planning and comprehensive abortion care.

Over the last two years, the programme facilitated the procurement of reproductive health commodities estimated at over US$ 5,286,373.27 (ZMW 89,498,300) and contributing to over 60% of public sector commodity needs, and more than 1,990, 354 Couple Years of Protection.

Additionally, the programme achieved remarkable progress in capacity strengthening for delivery of adolescent friendly sexual and reproductive health services, enabling all the targeted 138 health facilities to provide a standard package of adolescent friendly sexual and reproductive health services. The services reached an estimated 200,306 adolescents (107,200 girls and 93,106 boys).

The Programme further supported Level II hospitals (provincial hospitals) and Level III hospitals (district hospitals) in 28 Districts with enhanced capacity to deliver Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC) services and avert maternal deaths, through the setting up of high dependency units, as well as the procurement of utility/ambulance vehicles, motorbikes, medical equipment and supplies.