Lusaka Urban Health project : A case study of Neighbourhood Health Committees
Mwanza, Patrick David
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The Lusaka Urban Health Project (LUHP) is a five-year project funded by the Department For International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom. It is a component of the Zambia Health and Population Sector Aid Programme. The programme began operating in 1994 and it will go on up to 1999. The overall aim of the LUHP is to improve the urban poor's access to quality health services. This is to be done by improving services offered at the Health Centres (HCs) so that most minor health ailments could be dealt with at the HC level. One of the specific objectives of the project is to enhance active community involvement through Neighbourhood Health Committees (NHCs). The LUHP evolves in the context of the on-going health sector reform v/hich emphasizes on: decentralized management, autonomous functioning of hospitals, introduction of cost sharing and increased community involvement in health care management (LUHP Baseline Study, 1995). The NHCs became operational in 1995. Three years down the road, reports of apathy towards the NHC were of great concern to health authorities. This student's attachment at the District Health Management Team (DHMT) was to identify the main cause(s) of the said apathy and provide recommendations to the higher authorities on the same.