A quick needs assessment of key stakeholder groups on the role of family medicine in Zambia

  • J Sanders
  • M Makasa
  • F Goma
  • E Kafumukache
  • M S Ngoma
  • S Nzala


Background. Zambia is a nation of nine million people, and has too few physicians to meet the country’s health needs. Following the strategy of other sub- Saharan countries, Zambia has developed a training programme in family medicine to help improve the medical competencies of its physician workforce. A needs assessment was undertaken to better understand the landscape into which Zambian family medicine is being placed.
Methods. In 2014, a nine-question survey in Likert-scale format was developed, validated, and then delivered to four stakeholder groups: (i) practicing clinical physicians, (ii) the general public, (iii) the University of Zambia’s School of Medicine’s academic faculty and (iv) medical students. The needs assessment was delivered through several different mechanisms: via web-based service, to respondents’ email addresses; in paper form, to population samples of convenience; and verbally, through face-to-face encounters.
Results. The number of stakeholders from each group who responded to the needs assessment were: clinical physicians, 27; general public, 15; academic faculty, 14; and medical students, 31. Five of the nine survey statements achieved super-majority consensus, with >66% of stakeholders in each group agreeing. Two additional statements achieved a simple-majority consensus with >50% agreement within each stakeholder group.
Conclusion. This survey suggests that there is a broad-based a priori understanding of family medicine in Zambia, and general agreement that its presence would be valuable to Zambia’s healthcare system.


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