Swedish Ambassodor to Zambia, His Excellency Mr Henrik Cederin has stated that 2 years ago, Sweden and Zambia entered into a new agreement for a program to support productive Maternal new born Child, adolescent health and nutrition with focus on services provided in Eastern and Southern Provinces of Zambia, in order to improve the health of Zambian’s by strengthening health systems to deliver quality services.
The Ambassador was speaking yesterday morning at Ministry of Health when Minister of Health Hon. Dr Chitalu Chilufya received a donation of 25 Ambulances from the Swedish Government on behalf of his Ministry.
“Sweden had already been a close partner to your government , we pulled back and were very happy in 2015 to come back as a close partner.” He said .
He stated that Sweden and Zambia shared the same goals and wished to take part in the pursuit to reduce unnecessary suffering and preventable deaths of women, young Children and young people and that they wanted to see all Zambian’s including the poorest of the poor become productive members of the community and contributing to the countries development.
“Sweden’s support to the programme comes in form of financial, Material and human resources to enable the Ministry of Health deliver high quality services to under resourced provinces and districts and make the services readily available and accessible to those that need them.” He said.
He stated that with that background, he was pleased that they were today, handing over physically 25 ambulances to the Ministry of health for distribution to the districts.
“These are customized all terrain ambulances with life support accessories. They have been purchased by the Ministry through the United Nations procurement system at a unit cost of $52 550. With our joint focus on the value of money. Ofcource our key principle when procuring equipment, this price level I just mentioned has enabled us to purchase in total the 25 ambulances. ” He said.
“I think these vehicles are expected now to go a very long way in saving lives. Lack of or inadequate availability of ambulances and transport as a whole is a major contributor to the death of Women and Children in hard to reach areas. These ambulances are part of a large consignment of vehicles which have already been procured by the Ministry with Swedish funds. Already, 50 utility vehicles and 200 motorbikes have been delivered and dispatched to hospitals and health facilities in Eastern and Southern Provinces.” He added.
He stated that other than vehicles, the Swedish support to health also involved both procurement of essential commodities, equipment infrastructure and support for programmes and general capacity building as well, in order for public health systems in Zambia to deliver high quality services to its citizens.
“After two years, as I said, we signed the agreement in December of 2015, with a somewhat slow start, we are now beginning to see improved health results in the provinces with an increased uptake of services as well as steadily progressing key performance indicators. We look forward to achieving better health for all women, Children and adolescents in the years to come.” He said.