We work with Zambia’s government and local organizations to improve the health and safety of women and children, while prioritizing young people’s involvement and input.

USAID Zambia

In partnership with Zambia’s Ministry of Health, local governments, and civil society organizations, MOMENTUM improves health care for Zambian women and children, keeps health facilities clean and safe, builds health systems that can respond to the needs of communities and adolescents and youth, and reduces the impact of gender-based violence. We implement a comprehensive, all-systems approach in facilities and communities to promote integrated, rather than siloed, health service delivery.


Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

Improving Health Care for Women and Children

Between 2000 and 2010, Zambia made significant progress toward improving the health of women and children across the country.1,2 However, maternal deaths still represented 10 percent of all deaths among women of reproductive age in 2018, and the probability of a child dying within the first month of life increased between 2013 and 2018.3 MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership works with Zambia’s Ministry of Health to make quality health services for women and children more available and accessible, improve demand for and use of these services, and strengthen health systems to deliver effective health services that respect their clients’ needs.  MOMENTUM will provide demand-driven, data-directed technical assistance to improve health systems’ ability to serve Zambian women and children. This work will engage stakeholders at all levels, including policymakers, managers, health care providers, and community members, to strengthen their capacity to improve health. The project prioritizes engaging marginalized groups, particularly women, adolescents, and youth, and will work closely with community health structures to strengthen outreach to and representation of these groups.

Learn more about how expanding the available methods of contraception can help make it easier for women to choose and continue using the method of family planning that works for them.


Keeping Health Facilities Clean, Safe, and Accessible

In 2019, 16 percent of health facilities in Zambia didn’t have clean drinking water, and seven percent had no sanitation services.4 MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership partners with local governments, health facilities, and communities to ensure access to safe, sanitary health services with robust infection prevention protocols. The project works with local governments to enhance their plans, supplies, and protocols to improve access to safe water and sanitation resources in health facilities and encourage proper hygiene. MOMENTUM partners with provincial and district health offices, health facilities, and other cooperating partners to assess health facility hygienic conditions for their clients and employees and identify areas for improvement, such as embedding infection prevention and control measures in overall facility improvement plans and creating more robust monitoring systems. MOMENTUM also works with neighborhood health committees and safe motherhood action groups to disseminate messages and sensitize their communities to healthy behaviors around water, sanitation, and hygiene using public announcements, community meetings, and door-to-door awareness campaigns.

Explore our essential supply list for infection prevention and control in health care facilities.


Building Health Systems That Respond To Young People’s Needs

Zambia has national guidelines for providing health services tailored to adolescents’ needs, but most health care providers in Lusaka have not received training on providing adolescent-friendly services. Zambian adolescents also feel that the information, education, and communication materials in health facilities are inadequate.5 To address these gaps, MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership partners with youth-led organizations and the Ministry of Health to transform health systems to respond to the needs of adolescents and youth ages 10 to 24. The project trains health care providers to administer services specifically tailored for young people and ensures adolescent and youth priorities are included in quality improvement initiatives, including conducting service quality assessments and forming collaborative quality improvement projects focused on different program areas (for example, adolescent health).

Working in partnership with Copper Rose Zambia, a youth-led organization, MOMENTUM strengthens the ability of health care providers across districts to help deliver better health services for adolescents and young people through family planning counseling, provision of contraceptives and HIV testing, and guidance to peer educators. We also work with these providers to map existing adolescent and youth platforms and ongoing youth-led outreach, providing recommendations to expand or strengthen adolescent and youth involvement in the health care and services that affect them. Training peer educators and creating spaces for young people to participate in technical working group meetings helps adolescents and youth hold decision-makers accountable for providing quality health services that meet the needs of young people.

Check out our landscape analysis on how youth hold their health systems accountable for family planning and reproductive health.


Reducing the Impact of Gender-Based Violence

Nearly two out of five Zambian women between the ages of 15 and 49 report having experienced physical or sexual violence at some point in their life.6 To address gender-based violence, MOMENTUM trains health care providers and community leaders on how to be informed, respectful first-line responders who can link survivors of gender-based violence to empathetic counseling, provide resources for bringing positive changes to their situation, and give referrals for ongoing care. The project will also collaborate with the Zambian Ministry of Health to assess the readiness of the health systems to respond to gender-based violence and develop action plans to fill identified gaps.

Discover how MOMENTUM integrates gender into its programs.


Interested in partnering with us or learning more about our work in Zambia? Contact us here or check out our regional reference brief.

Learn more about USAID’s work in Zambia.


  1. United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation. Levels & Trends in Child Mortality: Report 2020, Stillbirth and Child Mortality Estimates. New York: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). 2020.
  2. Trends in maternal mortality 2000 to 2017: estimates by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group and the United Nations Population Division. Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO). 2019.
  3. Zambia Statistics Agency, Ministry of Health (MOH) Zambia, and ICF International. Zambia Demographic and Health Survey 2018. Lusaka, Zambia, and Rockville, Maryland, USA: Zambia Statistics Agency, MOH Zambia, and ICF. 2019.
  4. Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene. “Estimates on the Use of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene by Region (2000-2020).” April 2021.
  5. Nkole, Theresa, Mukatimui Kalima Munalula, and Joseph Mumba Zulu. Adolescent-Friendly Health Services in Public Health Facilities in Lusaka, Zambia. Chapel Hill, NC: MEASURE Evaluation, University of North Carolina. April 2019.
  6. Zambia Statistics Agency, MOH Zambia, and ICF International. Zambia Demographic and Health Survey 2018. Lusaka, Zambia, and Rockville, Maryland, USA: Zambia Statistics Agency, MOH Zambia, and ICF. 2019.

Last updated September 2022.

Your privacy and security are very important to us. Please be aware that MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator does not collect personal information when you visit our website, unless you choose to provide that information. However, we do collect some technical information about your visit. Read our Privacy Policy.