The Netherlands has given 18 million Euros to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for continued implementation of the Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and HIV activities in six countries, including Zambia.
The money has been provided under the “SRHR-HIV Knows No Boundary” project that IOM is implementing in Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.
International Organisation for Migration Chief of Mission in Zambia Nomagugu Ncube has confirmed the funding which is for five-year running from 2021 to 2026.
She said the money will be used to promote sexual reproductive health rights of adolescents and young people and vulnerable groups like migrant sex workers in the six countries
Ms Ncube was speaking on the sideline of a two-day Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and HIV Knows No Border 3rd Tripartite Cross Border virtual meeting for Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.
“The project is about demand creation, capacitating the beneficiaries who are migrant sex workers and adolescents and young people in the migration affected corridor to demand and utilize sexual and reproductive health and HIV services and to demand and enjoy their rights,” she said.
She mentioned that another aspect of the project around creating an enabling environment for the fully enjoyment of sexual and reproductive health rights, focusing on issues of policy and challenging social and cultural norms that may militate against enjoying those rights.
In Zambia the project will be implemented in the Eastern Province covering Chipata, Katete and Chadiza Districts which form a corridor for migration.
And Ms Ncube said migration is a key social determinant of health that government must prioritized in their health plans.
“What needs to be emphasized is that migration is a phenomenon that we all have to live with and is a key social determinant of health and therefore it would be prudent for stakeholders planning for health and other social services to integrate migration in the planning,” she said.
Meanwhile Ministry of Health spokesperson Abel Kabalo has said tripartite collaborations on health with neighbouring countries is important in stopping the spread of infectious diseases.
“What we have resolved is to maintain public health security and you can only achieve that especially when you do the collaboration with your neighbouring countries, you make your borders not porous-disease proof in terms of transmission,” he explained.
Dr Kabalo also said that Zambia has become a role model in health intelligence surveillance following the creation of the National Health Intelligence Institute.
“Zimbabwe came here to learn and Malawi came actually here in Zambia to learn as to how they should go about that. As I am speaking right now we are giving them technical support on how they should run their intelligence wings in terms of disease prevention and control,” Dr Kabalo said.