Photo credit: David Phiri – ZNPHI
From L: Hon. Elizabeth Phiri, Member of Parliament for Kanyama Constituency, H.E. Hidenobu Sobahsima, Ambassador of Japan to Zambia and Hon Hon Dr Chitalu Chilufya the Minister of Health during the ground-breaking ceremony
The Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-VI) held in Nairobi, Kenya on 27-28 August 2016 underscored the importance of advancing Africa’s Sustainable Development Agenda. This was further to the TICAD-V Yokohama Declaration and Action Plan, focused on key areas, namely, boosting economic growth, accelerating infrastructure and capacity development, empowering farms as mainstream economic actors, promoting sustainable and resilient growth, creating inclusive society for growth, and consolidating peace, stability, democracy and good governance.
In this context, the Japan government has remained committed to enhancing economic growth through accelerating infrastructure and capacity development in Africa. It is for this reason that they have continuously extended their support to the Zambian government in upgrading of the health centres into modern first level district facilities. On June 7, 2018 the ground-breaking ceremony of Kanyama, Chawama and Chipata facilities was done.
In a ceremony graced by Hon Dr Chitalu Chilufya the Minister of Health, the investment made by the Japanese government was highly appreciated. The Minister reiterated that health system strengthening anchors on infrastructure development that contribute to expansion of primary health care. “This is a milestone and broad agenda to strengthen health systems to achieve resilience and Universal Health Coverage (UHC), he said.
In the last one year the Japanese Government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Zambia has commissioned phase one project that saw two other facilities in Chilenje and Matero upgraded significantly reducing the number of referrals to the University Teaching (UTH) and the Levy Mwanawasa Hospital.
Speaking during the ceremony the Ambassador of Japan to Zambia H.E Hidenobu Sobahsima said that the government of Japan has conducted cooperation in the health sector of Zambia in specific fields including maternal health and HIV/AIDS amounting to a total of 20 million kwacha. “This phase two project will further increase the number of people in Lusaka who have access to basic health services at hospitals close to their homes,” he said.
Zambia upholds the importance for enhancing primary healthcare in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC). People centered approach in public health is critical as it provides first contact of patients with the health care system particularly in developing countries. The Health Press Zambia a public health bulletin of the ZNPHI underscores the fact that primary health care and public health though uniquely positioned plays, a vital role in managing complex health problems.
The intersection embraces health improvement and can bring sustainable improvements in the health of the populations. It is hoped that a good relationship between the two teams is fostered to ensure we endorse the disease prevention approach that will emanate into minimized disease burden especially in the vulnerable groups and reallocation of resources to other needs.
Ms Mazyanga L. Mazaba Liwewe Editor-in-Chief The Health Press Zambia