Building partnerships for health equity: The power of collective action

Christina Becherer

Christina Becherer is a seasoned leader in international development and humanitarian action, with 17+ years of experience in designing and managing partnerships. In addition to acting as senior director of global partnerships at Children International, Christina currently serves as chair of the Disaster and Humanitarian Response Committee and executive board member at Partnership for Quality Medical Donations (PQMD). 

From engaging meetings with the Ministry of Health, Zambia Medicines & Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) and UNICEF to invigorating strategy sessions with Children International’s local team, my February visit to Zambia was filled with learning and partnership-building. 

As we expand our impact in Zambia to a national scale and innovate through new alliances, there were moments during our conversations and collaborative planning that made it clear: We don’t believe in impossible. We only believe in finding the road to possible together.

Challenges in access to health care 

In underserved communities, health facilities often lack medical supplies or trained personnel necessary to deliver basic essential and high-quality care. The Zambia government reported the availability of essential medicines and medical supplies at 66% in 2022, below the World Health Organization’s 80% minimum acceptable goal.   

We see this challenge not only in Zambia, but also in countries where we work in Latin America and Asia. One of the top challenges regularly reported in public health clinics we partner with around the world is lack of essential medicines and supplies.

A unified vision 

By working with communities and others to identify and address gaps like these, we are helping to ensure that quality health care is available to those who need it when they need it. One example is our work with the Zambia Ministry of HealthZAMMSAother nonprofit organizations and corporations to improve access to essential medicines and supplies for children and families


My recent time in Zambia convinced me more than ever of the power of collective action. I could see how Children International’s collaboration with diverse partners — leveraging our respective strengths and resources — is driving significant gains for health equity.

As we continue to build partnerships that drive progress in Zambia and beyond, I am filled with hope and determination — and deep gratitude for our partners. Together, we can overcome even the greatest challenges and create a more equitable world.



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