By Eric Liswaniso, Programs Manager , Malaria Partners Zambia

The Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia project is steadfast in our commitment to improving healthcare outcomes in Muchinga and Central provinces. One pivotal strategy we employ is the facilitation of regular quarterly review meetings between health facilities and community health workers. These gatherings serve as a crucial platform for reviewing performance metrics, fostering collaboration, and addressing emerging health challenges within the health facility catchment areas.

Quarterly review meetings provide a structured forum for health facility personnel and community health workers to assess progress and strategize for better outcomes. They also serve as a platform for exchanging insights, providing updates to the community on upcoming and ongoing health initiatives such as vaccination programs and bed net distribution, to mitigate the impact of disease in the community.

Recently, our team embarked on a two-week monitoring tour across four districts in Muchinga. Our objective was twofold: to observe the efficacy of these review meetings and to bolster healthcare providers’ understanding of their significance in combating malaria and other health threats. Through these interactions, we gleaned valuable insights into the challenges confronting community volunteers, ranging from logistical hurdles like bicycle breakdowns and deteriorating phones to sporadic supplies of anti-malarial commodities. Additionally, the attrition of community volunteers compounds the workload for existing personnel, underscoring the need for sustainable solutions.

Crucially, these review meetings serve as a cornerstone for continuous organizational learning. By identifying challenges and gaps in service delivery, we can refine our interventions and design future initiatives more effectively. Furthermore, fostering a culture of collaboration and knowledge exchange ensures that the impact of our efforts extends beyond the lifespan of the project, promoting long-term sustainability in healthcare delivery.

As always, we benefited from the valuable contributions of our Rotarian volunteer from the Rotary Club of Ndola Central who accompanied us on this mission. Rotarian Zeresy Banda was an enthusiastic learner taking in the experience and sharing the spirit of Rotary with the communities we serve.

The quarterly review meetings stand as a testament to our collective commitment to fostering healthier communities. Through collaboration, innovation, and a steadfast dedication to continuous improvement, we are certain that we can overcome obstacles and pave the way for a malaria-free Zambia.

The author holds dual membership with both the Rotary Club of Ndola and the Rotaract Club of Lusaka. For the past three years, Eric has had the privilege of mentoring Rotaractors and advocating for Zambian Rotarians to prioritize malaria interventions in their project planning. It’s been incredibly rewarding to see the work being rewarded with an increasing number of Rotary clubs embracing the call to ‘think malaria’ and incorporating malaria projects into their initiatives.

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