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Rural health facilities in Zambia lack doctors and nurses. SolidarMed focusses on training health personnel and invests in housing for rural health workers - an important incentive to retain staff in rural hospitals.

Health staff for rural hospitals

Zambia has less than one trained doctor for every 10'000 people. And these few doctors prefer to work in the cities. SolidarMed invests in human resources for health by training Medical Licentiates (non-physician clinicians) and nurses, specifically for the rural areas. To make rural service more attractive, SolidarMed improves working conditions. One key intervention is staff housing. SolidarMed has founded a housing cooperative which builds good quality accommodation for rural health workers.

Zambia in Numbers

  • Maternal mortality

    280 deaths per 100,000 births

  • Infant mortality under 5 years

    89 deaths per 1,000 births

  • HIV prevalence

    12.5 % (every 8th person is HIV positive)

  • Doctors per 10'000 persons

    0.9 (Switzerland: 44)

Zambia in Numbers



Karte Afrika

SolidarMed in Zambia

In response to the acute shortage of doctors in Zambia, SolidarMed supports the government's Medical Licentiates (ML) training programme for non-university doctors. We are also committed to training nurses in remote areas. SolidarMed builds staff houses to encourage health professionals to work in rural areas.

Shortage of personnel in the health sector

The ML programme is a promising response to the acute shortage of staff. For over 15 years, the Ministry of Health has been training health professionals with sufficient skills to help in life-threatening situations. They can treat acute malaria or perform a caesarean section without the university knowledge of a fully trained physician. Since the programme began, the number of graduates has more than tripled. Practical training in hospitals is a focal point of SolidarMed's activities.

Successes to date have encouraged the government to train more MLs per year. However, this welcome initiative also requires increased training capacities at the hospitals. And enough housing to accommodate the staff. SolidarMed supports five hospitals to prevent bottlenecks and meet the increasing demand.



Patrick Thomas

Programmes Zambia, South Africa, Kenya, India

Tel. +41 41 310 66 60

Our projects in Zambia

SolidarMed trains urgently needed health personnel. By providing appropriate housing, staff have an incentive to work in rural areas.