OkaZHI: Okanagan-Zambia Health Initiative

Vision and Mission


OkaZHI Vision Statement:

Working in partnership with Zambian, Canadian and International colleagues, OkaZHI will contribute to the improved health of people living in Zambia, through supporting locally identified priorities and strengthening health care capacities.

OkaZHI Mission Statement

OkaZHI aims to build collaborative efforts between Canada and Zambia with the end goal of improving the health of Zambian people through the support of locally identified priorities and enhancement of both Canadian and Zambian expertise and capacities. With an emphasis on education using an interprofessional approach, OkaZHI works to achieve this goal through partnerships with government, non- governmental organizations, universities, research institutions, communities and the private sector in Zambia and Canada.

Founded by Dr. Bill Nelems in 2009, the OkaZHI Foundation is a bold and exciting new effort working for the enhancement of basic healthcare and health education in Zambia by working in collaboration with its Zambian counterparts. Through concrete deliverables, strategic investment and sustainable programming, OkaZHI will have a significant impact on future generations of patients, nurses, physicians and other healthcare workers in Zambia.

OkaZHI’s Canadian-based Advisory Committee is made up of a dynamic and multidisciplinary group of community healthcare professionals.

At the suggestion of OkaZHI’s Zambian stakeholders and partners, OkaZHI is directing its efforts in rural Mongu, capital village of Western Province, as well as in Lusaka. Western Province is one of the poorest in Zambia and has amongst the worst health outcomes in the country. It also has one of the lowest levels of literacy and education in Zambia.



We recently conducted an evaluation of our work to date. Read the Executive Summary to see how we’re doing and where we need to go next.