Minister of Health Jonas Chanda has appealed for more support from the United Nations (UN) agencies to enable the health sector address challenges of maternal and child mortality in the country.
Dr. Chanda says Zambia loses as many as 15 women in maternal deaths every week hence the need to address this challenge.
He says neonatal mortality rates are high in Zambia and are contributing more than 40 percent to under five mortality rates in the country.
“It is therefore clear that additional investments are required to strengthen the provision of maternal, child, newborn, adolescent health and nutrition services in order to reduce morbidity and mortality,” he said.
Dr. Chanda was speaking yesterday when the UN family paid a virtual courtesy call on him at his office.
And Dr. Chanda has revealed that various UN agencies have been playing important roles in ensuring optimal health service delivery to the Zambian people.
The Minister of Health pointed out that the country has been benefiting from the technical, material and financial support being offered by the United Nations family.
He disclosed that the UN family supported the formulation of the Covid-19 preparedness and response plan, communication and community engagement, training of technical staff, strengthening surveillance in communities, procurement of personal protective equipment and strengthening infection prevention measures.
“The World Health Organisation has been working closely with the Ministry of Health in system strengthening and service delivery to the people of Zambia through the Ministry of Health,’’ he said.
He further stated that UNICEF has continued to support the health sector in strengthening various programmes such as immunization, maternal and neonatal health, child health, HIV and AIDS and community health while UNFPA has been supportive in reproductive health and family planning.
Meanwhile, UN family Zambia president and Residence Country Coordinator, Coumba Gadio pledged continued support to the Zambian government in the area of medical health sector plan.
Ms. Gadio said the UN family will continue to support public health responses to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic by decreasing mobility and mortality.
She said the UN family has been providing Covid-19 testing kits, oxygen syringes, training lab technicians and connecting power and water facilities at Levy Mwanawasa general hospital.