President Edgar Lungu has said that his government has embarked on a transformational agenda of attaining Universal Health Coverage using an integrated community based primary health care approach because he believes that Zambia will only prosper if the citizens are healthy. .
The President said this when he launched the market community health initiative at the new Soweto market in Lusaka yesterday morning.
The President stated that the market initiative is a demonstration of governments commitment to deliver health services as close to the citizens as possible.
He said the initiative will provide a contemporary model for addressing health service provision across the continuum of care in congregate settings and would leave no one behind.
“The market community health initiative is aimed at serving our citizens who may otherwise have difficulty in accessing preventive and basic curative health services because they are busy engaging in various economic activities. As a caring government which understands the challenges traders especially women go through to access health services from distance places away from their trading places, we have come up with this initiative that creates an opportunity for traders and shoppers to easily access health services at their convenience,” he said.
He directed the Ministries of Health, local government and Infrastructure and housing to establish community health facilities at big markets and bus stations countrywide as doing so would enable more people access the much needed health services.
And President Lungu who has bemoaned the high incidence of Non Communicable Diseases in the nation has also directed the Minister of Health, Hon. Chitalu Chilufya to ensure that more community health facilities are opened to enable men access health services as they are usually reluctant to seek health services until its too late.
“Today, it is not unusual for men to present in our clinics and hospitals with advanced Communicable and non communicable diseases. We cannot allow this to continue,” he said.
He took time to urge the corporate world and other cooperating partners to partner with the Ministry of Health in ensuring that health services are taken to households, work places, places of worship and trading places among others.
He commended the Ministry of Health and the Marketeers Credit Association, the Commuters Rights Association of Zambia and the Organized Vendors and traders association for supporting the initiative.