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THET has been working in Zambia since 2009, focusing on a number of its most urgent health needs

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Chronic Malnutrition

The country is also experiencing a rise in obesity, diabetes and cancer. Zambia is critically short of nutritionists and dieticians.


In partnership with the University of Zambia, THET started the country’s first training programme for nutritionists, helping to design and deliver BSc and MSc courses at the University.

in children under five


suffer from chronic malnutrition in zambia

Surgical Care

In Zambia, 80.7% of the population (11,704,700 people) lives in an area that is more than two hours from a surgical facility. As a result, many common, easily treatable conditions become fatal, such as obstructed labour, appendicitis, road traffic injuries, burns and falls.

With only 0.93 anaesthesia providers per 100,000 people compared to 20.7 per 100,000 in the UK, the anaesthesia specialty is under-developed and under-resourced in Zambia. THET works with the Ministry of Health and the University of Zambia to deliver the first postgraduate training programme for physician anaesthestists.

in low and middle income countries, as many as

9 out of 10

people cannot access basic surgical and anaesthetic care

Lack of useable medical equipment

As a result, healthcare workers on the front lines of service delivery lack the equipment they require to diagnose, monitor and treat patients. Imagine the difficulties faced by a nurse caring for infants on a ward that doesn’t have functional resuscitation equipment, incubators or oxygen.

This is due in large part to a lack of human resources and training for both equipment users and maintenance personnel. Working with the Northern Technical College, THET developed the first training course for Biomedical Engineering Technologists (BMETs) in Zambia. We also provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Health.

Up to


of medical equipment is out of service.

Current Projects:

Human Resources for Health:

AIM: The programme aims to develop relevant, quality, local training programmes for particularly needed health specialty areas.

This includes high level specialist training in areas as diverse as Anaesthesia, Pathology and Psychiatry, as well as developing the first pre-service training programme for medical equipment maintenance professionals.

  • The programme is responding to critical needs in health service capacity, identified by the Zambian Ministry of Health.
  • The programme is funded by DFID/UK Aid.


  • The Ministry of Health,
  • The Ministry of Community Development,
  • Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurial Training Authority (TEVETA).
  • University of Zambia’s School of Medicine
  • Northern Technical College (NORTEC).

Collaborators include: UNICEF, the Beit Trust, the Society of Anaesthetists of Zambia (SAZ), the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (AAGBI), the Harvard Medical School Programme for Global Surgery and Social Change (PGSSC), the University Health Network, Toronto, and the Aga Khan University, Nairobi.

Impact: The programme has seen the development of four new health specialist training programmes in Zambian institutions, three of which are at Masters of Medicine level, training specialist physicians.

  • 184 students have entered training with 43 graduating so far.
  • The number of practicing specialists in each of the three areas has more than doubled due to the training programmes, and the medical equipment maintenance professionals (Biomedical Engineering Technologists) are the first to be trained in Zambia, and some of the first to be trained in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The programme has also assisted the development of two national professional bodies representing the interests of health workers.


AIM: Our Nutrition Programme began in July 2011, in response to Zambia’s urgent need for well-qualified nutritionists and dieticians. The programme’s aim is to train nutritionists and dieticians to tackle Zambia’s urgent need to reduce chronic malnutrition.


  • The University of Zambia,
  • The Ministry of Health,
  • The Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health,
  • The National Food and Nutrition Commission,
  • The Nutrition Association of Zambia.

Impact: So far 29 nutritionists have been trained (22 female and 7 male).

24 nutritionists, nurses and clinical officers have been trained in Quality improvement (QI) in relation to the management of acute malnutrition.


For further information about THET’s work in Zambia please contact our Country Coordinator, Linnet Griffith-Jones.