Health Minister Sylvia Masebo says the government is working hard to continue improving on quality healthcare services in all parts of the country.
Ms Masebo stated that there is a need for the health sector to have essential drugs, infrastructure, good human resource and other amenities that can support quality healthcare services to the citizens.
Speaking at the sidelines during the on-going AIDS-2022 World Leaders Meeting in Canada when she met Eswatini Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi, Ms Masebo said that Zambia needs to continue with strides of improving the health sector.
She added that the Zambian government needs support from PEPFAR and Global Fund to achieve setting up of oxygen plants at some big hospitals and to ensure continuous supply of Antiretrovirals (ARVs) in needy health facilities in order for people to access free and quality health services.
Ms Masebo noted that Zambia has not yet reached the threshold of 70 percent in COVID-19 vaccination, because the demand for the vaccine from the people has gone down hence the need for the health sector to continue sensitizing people on the importance of being vaccinated.
“The health sector needs to continue with health promotion of vaccines in order to mitigate the impact of the pandemic among the people,” she said
And Eswatini Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi says her country also needs to improve on health systems in order to have a healthier population.
Ms Nkosi noted that her country had only reached 40 percent in COVID-19 vaccination programmes.
She added that her country is now focusing on adjusting the age to even vaccinate those below the age of 12 years.
Ms Nkosi also bemoaned the increase of cancer cases among the citizens.
She explained that her country is experiencing similar problems with Zambia in terms of health thus, the need to work together and lobby for support from PERFAR and Global Fund.
The Two Ministers shared similar challenges which the two countries Zambia and Eswatini are facing and need quick attention in order to have healthier populations for sustainable development.
Meanwhile, the Human Health Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary Loyce Pace says it is willing to support Zambia to train more Community Health Assistants (CHA) in order to improve on the healthcare services the teams are offering in their various communities.
Ms Pace stated that USAID is pleased with the way the Zambian government works with Community Health Assistants hence it is wishing to support in training more people to increase the current numbers.
Speaking when she met Health Minister Sylvia Masebo in Canada on Saturday, Ms Pace noted that Community Health Assistants are rendering recommendable healthcare services to HIV/AIDS patients, therefore it’s important to have more people trained.
“I am impressed that Community Health Assistants are contributing positively in offering education and care services to the HIV/AIDS patients in their respective communities,” she said
Ms Pace highlighted this in response to Health Minister Sylvia Masebo who briefed the Human Health Services official on how the Zambian government was making progress in the areas HIV epidemic control, response and preparedness for COVID 19 among other diseases which need interventions.
The Health Minister explained that the government is focusing on having more Community Health Assistants because they have proven to be contributing positively in communities where they are rendering their services.
Ms Masebo further noted that the health sector is also working hard to improve on other health care services in all parts of the country to have healthier populations.
The Minister informed Ms Pace that Zambia appreciates the support of PEPFAR on ARVs provision and there is still more work to be done on equipment and to ensure that the drugs procured for the country are quality.
She added that the President of Zambia, His Excellency Hakainde Hichilema has a vision of a health sector where all people especially those in the rural areas have access to quality healthcare services.
“Because of that vision the President has since made pronouncements of decentralisation to ensure that health systems are enhanced in all districts,” Ms Masebo stated