Thursday, May 30, 2024

Adolescent Health and National Community Health strategies launched

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Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo yesterday launched the Adolescent Health and National Community Health strategies for 2022 to 2026.

The two documents that have been formulated with collaboration with partners in health are expected to help the country achieve universal health coverage by 2030.

Speaking during the launch at Lusaka’s Pamodzi Hotel, Ms. Masebo said government is committed to ensuring that all Zambians receive health services and that the two documents being launched form part of the priorities outlined in the Country’s 8th National Development Plan (8NDP).

She said the Ministry through its Community Health and Adolescent Health units has worked hard to ensure that the two strategies are completed for implementation and contribute towards the achievement of Universal health coverage.

“I would like to bring to your attention the mammoth tasks that the Community Health and Adolescent Health units have embarked on. These units have contributed to universal health coverage by combining realistic community health services to the door step,” she said

The Minister further stressed that the Ministry understands and appreciates the value that well trained and equipped community health workers play in delivering health services especially in remote areas.

“We want community health assistants that will help the professionals in the hospitals. Those that will help the patients in the communities in the remotest parts of the country, in every corner of Zambia and give them basic health education,” she added

And speaking on behalf of Cooperating Partners, Head of Development Corporation at the Embassy of Sweden Susanna Hughes said cooperating partners are investing in Adolescent Health is not only right but an economic investment, stating that maintaining healthy adolescents assures of a healthy future and reduced costs on health.

Ms. Hughes disclosed that teenage pregnancy continues to be the leading cause of death among teenage girls and thus encouraged giving priority to mental health of adolescents.

“It is not only right to improve the health and wellbeing of adolescents, it is also smart economics. Take early and unwanted pregnancies for instance, pregnancy is the leading cause of death for girls between 15-19 years due to complications during pregnancy and birth,” she noted

Meanwhile, Churches Health Association of Zambia CHAZ Executive Director Karen Sichinga, who spoke on behalf of the Civil Society applauded the government for the efforts made in improving the health and wellbeing of the country and for engaging various stakeholders in the process including the civil society groups.

Mrs. Sichinga acknowledged that the civil society groups appreciate the challenges faced in achieving universal health coverage in the country and the efforts made by the government in addressing them

“We recognize the efforts made by government of the republic of Zambia through the Ministry of Health to promote health and wellbeing through a multi sectoral approach that involves key stakeholders include civil society groups,” she said

The Community Health and Adolescent Health strategies are expected to be implemented from 2022 to 2026 at the cost of $64million and $47million respectively

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