USAID/Zambia Health Office - Breakthrough Action Project

Speeches Shim

A group of men wait to receive a medical screening from a nurse.
Breakthrough ACTION aims to improve health and development outcomes in Zambia by encouraging healthy behaviors related to HIV, maternal and child health, family planning, malaria, and nutrition.
Photo Courtesy of Breakthrough ACTION

Breakthrough ACTION is a social and behavior change (SBC) project working to increase the adoption and maintenance of healthy behaviors among Zambian individuals, families, and communities.

Breakthrough contributes to the broader goal of improved health and development outcomes, with a focus on behaviors related to HIV, maternal and child health, family planning, malaria, and nutrition.  In close collaboration with the Ministry of Health’s Directorate of Health Promotion, Environment, and Social Determinants, Breakthrough strengthens SBC capacity at both the national and the district level.

Breakthrough works with beneficiaries and stakeholders to design and pilot innovative interventions. All activities are evidence-informed and theory-based, focusing on three primary objectives:

  • reduce barriers to adoption of priority social and individual behaviors;
  • strengthen functional linkages between health facilities; and
  • improve the capacity and commitment of Zambian institutions to fund, coordinate, design and implement effective SBC programming

Breakthrough’s overarching campaign - Life is Precious, Take Care of It - addresses the psycho-social, cultural, and structural barriers to care-seeking. The campaign places special focus on men and adolescents, encouraging greater uptake of health services at local clinics.  A variety of multimedia approaches and materials are used to reach the target populations, including targeted mass, community, and social media, Men’s and Adolescent’s Health Days, testimonials from national and community champions, and posters and job aids for health care workers.

  • Life of Project: October 2017 – December 2020
  • Location: Central, Copperbelt, Luapula, and Muchinga Provinces
  • Partners: Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs
  • Chief of Party: Chime Catherine Mukwakwa
  • USAID/PEPFAR/PMI/PRH Investment (Life of Project): $15 million


USAID believes every person, every community, and every country wants to be empowered to lead their own future. We support self-reliance by walking alongside our friends on their development journey, as evolving but enduring partners.  As partners on this journey, we are empowering host-country governments and our partners to achieve locally-sustained results, helping countries mobilize public and private revenues, strengthening local capacities, and accelerating enterprise-driven development.  This approach fosters stable, resilient, and prosperous countries that are more self-reliant, and prioritizes enduring partnerships.