took place over the course of two months in early 2016
and ultimately produced hundreds of pages of information and transcripts that needed to be synthesized.
Refining the language
To formalize all the discussions from the committee
meetings, a week-long writing workshop was convened.
The primary aim of the workshop was to compose and
clarify policy, as well as address the feasibility, impact,
and priority of key initiatives.
A total of 25 individuals participated in a writing
workshop in May 2016, including representatives from
previous committee meetings, as well as new members from the Zambian Ministry of Health, to facilitate
appropriate policy language (see photo, this page).
The structure of the workshop was similar to prior
committee meetings—participants were divided into
subcommittees related to infrastructure, workforce,
service delivery, and governance. Previously synthesized plans were presented to the group for further
discussion and refinement. The final plan included the
following domains: infrastructure, service delivery,
workforce, financing, and information management.
Milestones and metrics were developed to be included
within the upcoming National Health Strategic Plan,
a five-year plan for 2017–2021.
Disseminating the plan at NSOAF
To help increase the transparency of this process of
Financing the plan
policy development as well as increase eventual uptake,
a national forum was organized to disseminate the
findings and goals of the plan. More than 50 members
of government, advocacy, and professional societies
attended the Zambian National Surgical, Obstetric, and
Anesthesia Forum (NSOAF) in May 2017, and engaged
in additional discussions surrounding the developed
plan and ways forward. Representatives of all previ-
ously identified stakeholder groups were in attendance.
Panel members included key professional society lead-
ers, representatives from the Ministry of Health, and
members of the Program in Global Surgery and Social
Change team (see photo, page 35).
After developing a working draft of the NSOASP, the
next step was to provide informed estimates of the
cost of each part of the plan to ensure the feasibility of
implementation. The Ministry of Health held a costing
workshop in late July 2016 to reassess and determine the
costs of the NSOASP activities as already drafted in the
plan (see photo, page 35). This workshop was conducted
with a similar structure to the writing workshop. Based
on initial costing, the team prioritized strategies that
could be implemented in Zambia given financial, workforce, and resource constraints. Additionally, efforts
were made to coordinate with other existing plans
within the Ministry of Health to ensure collaboration
and avoid repeated efforts.
The Zambian NSOASP was a locally driven process
to scale up much-needed surgical, obstetric, and anesthesia services in the country. It was developed with
significant collaboration between all stakeholders,
including the Ministry of Health, professional societies,
Attendees of the Zambia NSOASP writing workshop
continued on page 35
JUN 2017 BULLETIN American College of Surgeons
GLOBAL SURGERY ZAMBIA