Download this article in PDF

The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the Attainment of Universal Health Coverage in Zambia

Zombe Mazimba1, Eners Chileshe Muwowo2, Kalaba Mulutula Chilufya3, Malan Malumani4,5

1Copperbelt University, Kitwe, Zambia
2Anhui Agriculture University, Zambia
3University Teaching Hospitals, Lusaka, Zambia
4Livingstone University Teaching Hospital, Zambia
5Mulungushi University School of Medicine and health science, Zambia

Zambia, together with over 133 other members of the World Health Organization (WHO), became a signatory to the historic Alma-Ata Declaration of 1978, which was a WHO blueprint that enabled Primary Health Care (PHC) to become the official health policy for all member countries at the International Conference on PHC which was held in Alma-Ata, USSR, on 6-12 September 1978 [1]. PHC is defined as the essential health care made accessible universally to all families and individuals in a community in ways that are acceptable to them. It involves their full participation and is done at a cost that the community and country can afford [2]. PHC addresses the main health problems faced in communities by providing a wide range of preventive, curative, promotive, and rehabilitative services to the members. As these services evolve from a particular country’s economic and social values and the characteristics of its communities, they are thus bound to vary country

by country and community by community. Despite the existence of these variations, they must include however at least; the promotion of proper nutrition, the supply of adequate safe and clean water, the improvement of basic sanitation, maternal and child healthcare which is to include family planning, antenatal services, immunization of children against the major infectious diseases they face, the prevention and control of locally endemic diseases, the education of citizens concerning prevailing health problems and also methods of disease control [3]. Globally, this PHC concept is regarded as being very important and the cornerstone of building strong health systems and a vital pillar in ensuring that every individual has access to essential healthcare services at as little a cost or no cost at all.
On this background, the principle of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) was built. The UHC concept means that every individual and community is able to receive the health services they need without suffering much financial hardship and challenges [4]. The UHC implies that patients receive a comprehensive package offering a full spectrum of essential and quality health services, which start from health promotion in order to encourage healthy lifestyles among citizens to health prevention which focuses on helping people not to get sick; then, the treatment, rehabilitation, and indeed palliative care services

Category: Commentary

Download this article in PDF



RPHB Chat Room

You are: