Thursday, June 20, 2024

Japan to improve health care delivery in Kitwe, Ndola

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By Benedict Tembo

THE Japanese government has committed 4.534 billion Japanese yen to strengthen the Zambian health system to deal with infectious diseases and other common but serious ailments in the long term. Japan expects that Zambia, with a wholly strengthened health system, will emerge as a stronger and more resilient player in sub-Saharan Africa and demonstrate its success stories.

“This is how Japan sees its own role in Zambia’s development and Zambia’s role as a model for Africa in the course of achieving sustainable development in the health sector of the country,” Japanese Ambassador to Zambia Kazuyuki Takeyuki said.

Speaking at the signing ceremony on the Amendment of Grant Agreement and Exchange of Notes for the Project for Upgrading Health Centres to District Hospitals on the Copperbelt Province in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Takeyuki said the fundamental improvement of health services in densely populated areas was yet another significant initiative by the Zambian government to effectively overcome the challenges arising from medical problems such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and lifestyle-related diseases like hypertension.

Mr Takeyuki said the project will be provided with additional funding to improve health centres on the Copperbelt Province. He said the project was originally planned with the budget of 2.654 billion Japanese Yen, but with the signing of the notes yesterday, Japan will provide an additional grant of 1.88 billion yen, making the total amount of the grant 4.534 billion Japanese yen.

“We have been cooperating with Zambia in the health sector for many years , and as a result, many citizens in such places as Lusaka have improved access to high-level medical services,” Mr Takeyuki said.

“As we deal with current challenges, we must prepare for the future when we face the surge of a new pandemic,” Mr Takeyuki said.
Speaking at the same occasion, minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane said Zambia has made strides in improving the health status of citizens through increased investments in health infrastructure such as the construction of general hospitals, specialist hospitals, and mini-hospitals as well as health posts.

“However, there remains constraints in the sector such as inadequate and obsolete medical equipment and supplies and long distances to health centres. In this regard, this additional grant by Japan towards upgrading health centres to district hospitals on the Copperbelt Province will assist the government to adequately cater for primary health care needs of the people of Chamboli township in Kitwe and Mushili township in Ndola,” Mr Musokotwane said.

Mr Musokotwane said lack of first and second-level public hospitals in the two districts had put pressure on the existing third-level hospitals such as Kitwe and Ndola teaching hospitals due to great demand of basic medical services.

“Therefore, the improvement and expansion of first-level hospitals in both areas will reduce the burden on the third-level hospitals to access better basic medical services. Through this grant from Japan, the two hospitals will be supplied with medical equipment such x-ray diagnostic equipment, ultrasonic diagnostic equipment, operating table, anesthesia machine with artificial respirator, high-pressure steam sterilizer, hand washing machine, mobile ventilators, electrocardiographs, defibrillators and incubators,” he said

Mr Musokotwane said this was in line with the priorities of the Eighth National Development Plan, which aim at increasing access to quality health care through the development of health infrastructure, as well as the equipping of health facilities.

“I am confident that through the upgrading of the two health centres to district hospitals, the zambian government and you as our supporting partner will make a real socially desirable impact on the health of the Zambian people in Chamboli and Mushili. The two health facilities will indeed go a long way in achieving the universal health coverage,” Mr Musokotwane said

Chief Representative of JICA Zambia Office Norihito Yonebayashi said upon the completion of the project, the target health facilities should be able to conduct Caesarean operations and other specialised medical services to the communities.

“This Japanese grant aid project will be implemented based on the experience of past and on-going grant aid projects, namely, “The Project for Upgrading of Lusaka Health Centres to District Hospitals” namely, Chawama, Matero, Chilenje, Kanyama, Chipata, which have assisted in upgrading five health centres to First level hospitals now General hospitals in Lusaka district

2 COMMENTS

  1. When are we going to stand on our own two feet? The same people were funding and spoon feeding us 20 years ago

  2. When are we going to stand on our own two feet?
    Haven’t you learnt anything from our last 59 years of independence
    All big industry gone ! you know them as well as I do
    You also know the reason for the collapse
    So what’s your point,

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