ML Mazaba

Zambia National Public Health Institute, Lusaka, Zambia.

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Correspondence: Mazyanga Lucy Mazaba (

Citation style for this article: Mazaba ML. Health And Disability. Health Press Zambia Bull. 2018;2(12); pp 1-2.

Find space to update your minds with health statistics of notifiable diseases in Zambia published in the IDSR Bulletin and the Influenza Surveillance Monthly Bulletin. In this issue, THP-Z features two articles that analyse IDSR data from Zambia.  The articles were previously published in the BioMed Central series [1, 2].  as open access and are republished under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

We also provide a commentary on the progress the Zambia National Public Health Institute, the intelligence technical wing of the health systems in Zambia, has made in improving data collection, collation, analysis and usability.

The editorial focuses on health and disabilities in celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities awareness day.

Wishing you a pleasant end of year and looking forward to a continued association in 2019 and beyond.

Health and Disabilities

December 3rd observed by the United Nations as International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) since 1992 is aimed at supporting persons with disabilities and in 2018 the theme was “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality” envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development [3]. The World Health Organisation utilises this occasion to support governments and civil society to remove barriers to health facilities, expanding the scope of rehabilitation and supporting development of community-based rehabilitation.

Disabilities are a public health issue with some health associated conditions leading to poor health and wide-ranging health needs. Among the objectives of this important awareness day in 2018, the health related ones included [3,4]:

• Help persons with disabilities to attain the highest standard of healthcare, without discrimination;

• Train health professionals to ensure persons with disabilities  haveaccess to appropriate healthcare;

• Refer children with disabilities to specialized medical and rehabilitation services to reduce morbidity and mortality; and

• Support women with disabilities to access maternal health services

These objectives are well appreciated as important because of the one billion people with disabilities; 200 million of who are children, and half who cannot afford health care [3].

The Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD), a quasi-Government Institution established by an Act of Parliament, under the Persons with Disabilities Act No. 06 of 2012 of the Laws of Zambia envisions “a fully rehabilitated or enlightened, economically empowered and socially integrated disabled persons with full access to information / public facilities and enjoying equal rights with other members of the society” [5].  The ZAPD seeks to support the improvement of the social wellbeing of people with disabilities through access to health services and facilities and alleviation of health related problems

The Health Press endorses the drive to ensure equity and inclusion of persons with disabilities in decision making, access to amenities and empowering of persons with disabilities in line with the Agenda for Sustainable Development theme of ‘Leaving no one behind’.

List of References

1. Mutale W, Chintu N, Amoriso C, Awoonor-Williams K, Phillips J, Baynes C et. al. Improving health information systems for decision making across five sub-Saharan African countries: Implementation strategies from the African Health Initiative. BMC Public Health Services 2013, 13(Suppl 2):S9-20

2. Mandyata CB, Olowski LK, Mutale W. Challenges of implementing the integrated disease surveillance and response strategy in Zambia: a health worker perspective. BMC Public Health. 2017;17(1):746-757.

3. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations. URL:

4. Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia. URL:

5. Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities. URL: