The 990 Talkline is a confidential 24-hour health and social services helpline that is available toll free on the Airtel, MTN, and Zamtel networks throughout Zambia. It is staffed by trained counsellors at all times who respect the privacy and anonymity of callers and deal with issues in a non-judgmental manner. The 990 Talkline brings information, counselling, and referral services within closer reach of even the most vulnerable members of the Zambian public in almost all local languages.
Available information, counselling, and referral health and social services covered by 990 include, but are not limited to:
- - Malaria
- - Nutrition
- - Maternal and Child Health
- - Family Planning and Reproductive Health
- - Gender Based Violence
- - Male Circumcision
- - Alcohol and Drug Abuse
- - Prevention of Mother to Child
- - Sexually Transmitted Infections
- - SMS Counselling
990 Talkline has been operating continuously since World AIDS Day in 2003. It is currently expanding under the Communications Support for Health (CSH) project which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
To improve service delivery to the Zambian public, the 990 Talkline has engaged in partnerships with national and international organizations, these organizations include:
- Ministry of Health (MoH)
- Society for Family Health (SFH)
- the International Organization for Migration (IOM)
- United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF)
- Victim Support Unit of the Zambia Police Service (VSU)
Call Date: October 2015
Mwelwa (not real name) male 40 years, called 990 to appreciate the information and counsel he recieved from 990 which enabled him to make up his mind to go for Male Circumcision (MC). When Mwelwa called, he said the whole procedure was successful and he nursed the wound according to the advice he received from the MC provider. Mwelwa said that he his wound has completely healed and he is able to have sexual intercourse without any problems. I thanked Mwelwa and asked him call back if he had any other issues he would like to discuss.
Call for Help
Call Date: October 2015
Mulenga (not real name) male 18 years old of a named township in Lusaka called 990 after several attempts of calling the police to report a suicide that occurred some 45 minutes before he called. Mulenga said that the police had not yet arrived at the crime scene and people had gathered to watch. I told Mulenga to continue trying the police number and I also advised that no one disturbs the crime scene as police would like to gather evidence when they arrive. I asked Mulenga to call back after speaking to the police and give us feedback.