Short Research Report

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.

Authors' affiliations

J Sanders, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty in the School of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA

M Makasa, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Faculty in the School of Public Health, University of Zambia, Lusaka

F Goma, Centre for Primary Care Research, Faculty in the School of Medicine, University of Zambia, Lusaka

E Kafumukache, Department of Anatomy, Faculty in the School of Medicine, University of Zambia, Lusaka

M S Ngoma, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty in the School of Medicine, University of Zambia, Lusaka

S Nzala, Department of Medical Education Development, Faculty in the School of Medicine, University of Zambia, Lusaka

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Family medicine; Sub-Saharan Africa; Postgraduate education; Survey; Needs assessment

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2017;9(3):94-97. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2017.v9i3.831

Article History

Date submitted: 2017-09-27
Date published: 2017-09-27

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