Zambia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Turkey on cooperation in the field of Health.
Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya signed on behalf of the Zambian government while his Turkish counterpart, Dr. Ahmet Demircan signed on behalf of the government of the Republic of Turkey at a signing ceremony hels in Istanbul this afternoon.
Speaking during the ceremony, Dr. Chilufya said Zambia and Turkey has over the years enjoyed warm and cordial relations adding that, Zambia remains committed to enhancing co-operation with Turkey.
He said Zambia will like to strengthen co-operation on many fronts that will advance the mutual interest of the people in both countries hence, taking advantage of the good relations to promote good ties between the two countries.
And the Minister described as significant the signing of the MoU between Zambia and Turkey as it will take the two countries to another level of co-operation.
Dr. Chilufya noted that the Zambian government has prioritized the health sector as a key area of economic investment and as part of the country’s broader aspiration of a healthy nation.
In a statement released to ZANIS in Lusaka by Ministry of Health Head Communications and External Relations Stanslous Ngosa, Dr. Chilufya said this is why Zambia wants to learn from Turkey on how to transform the nation into a healthy country with productive citizens.
The Minister further congratulated Turkey for attaining the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and expanding its citizen’s access to quality healthcare services.
Dr. Chilufya also urged Turkish pharmaceutical companies to set up manufacturing plants in Zambia to help strengthen local production of drugs.
The Minister stated that Zambia have a strong potential in pharmaceuticals and in its quest to overcome Malaria, HIV and Tuberculosis, there is need to strengthen local production of cheaper but high quality drugs not only for the country but also for the region.
Meanwhile, Turkish Minister of Health Ahmet Dermican said his country is determined to improve its relations with Zambia and all African countries and that it is willing to share its expertise.
Dr. Dermican also reaffirmed Turkey’s commitment to provide scholarships to Zambian medical students to study in universities in Turkey stating that the move will help Zambia build the much needed human resource capacity in the health sector.
Areas of co-operation under the framework of the MoU include among others the strengthening of health information systems and e- Health, developing joint projects on maternal and child health and reducing maternal and child mortalities.