Factors affecting delivery of quality health services in Zambia: the case of Mandevu residential area

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Kaonga, Towela
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The University of Zambia
The Zambian government faces great problems in the provision of good health care services to its people. To respond to this Zambia has been in the process of an ambitious program of health sector decentralization by adopting successive policies in past years. For example, the ―National Health Policy‘ enacted in August 2012. This policy is committed to the attainment of equity of access to cost effective quality health services as close to the family as possible. The overall objective of the study was to investigate the factors that affect the quality of service delivery in public health facilities in Mandevu residential area. while the specific objectives were: To identify the factors that affect service providers in the delivery of quality health services in Mandevu residential area and to identify the factors that affects the users in accessing high quality health services. The study used a survey method with a total sample of 166 respondents. These consisted of 100 households, 50 health care professionals from 4 purposively selected health facilities that serve Mandevu, 2 focused group discussions were conducted consisting of 6 and 4 members respectively and 6 key informants. The key informants consisted of: The District Medical Officer, In-charge of Chipata First Level Hospital and the Medical Superintendent, In-charge of Mandevu, Chaisa and Matero Reference Health centre. The study employed quantitative and qualitative method of data collection. Questionnaires were used to collect data from households. Quantitative data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences while qualitative data was analysed using thematic review. The study established that the main factors that affect provision of quality health care in Mandevu residential area were; quality and number of staff, job satisfaction and this was determined by pay and conditions of service, funding and this was found to be insufficient and irregular which stifles planning. Other factors included inadequate infrastructure, high population of users and availability of medical and surgical supplies The study found out that the main factors that affect accessibility by local people were; lack of a health facility in Mandevu except for a paediatric clinic for children aged zero to fourteen. This compromises the quality of services of surrounding clinics as they deal with huge numbers of patients making these clinics over crowded. Long queues and waiting time, lack of information and distances were also key factors that hinder accessibility by local people.The study recommended that the Government should build a health facility in Mandevu, increase the number of staff in surrounding clinics accompanied by better conditions of service and strengthen the financial muscle of clinics. Key words: Quality, Healthcare, Lusaka, Zambia
Health care services--Zambia