Outgoing American Ambassador to Zambia Eric Schultz says the American government spends about $500 million dollars as assistance for development of the Zambian health sector every year.

Speaking when he toured Western Province on September 27th this year, Ambassador Schultz said the U.S. government remained as the largest donor to Zambia through programs such as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to a press release issued to News Diggers by American Embassy Public Affairs Officer Janet Deutsch, Ambassador Schultz also said that the American government had put about 800,000 HIV positive people in Zambia on life-saving Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) under the PEPFAR program.

“A success of U.S. funding is that about 800,000 HIV+ people in Zambia are on life-saving anti-retroviral treatment (ART) largely as a result of the U.S. PEPFAR program and a strong partnership between the United States and Zambia. Through U.S. CDC, the U.S. government has been providing financial support to the Western Provincial Health Office (WHPO). U.S. CDC has been co-located with the provincial health staff for more than a decade, and through cooperative agreements with the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) and WHPO, U.S. CDC has put more than 1,125 people living with HIV on ART and provided access to standard clinical, laboratory, and pharmacy care at the Sefula Health Center since 2006,” read the statement.

Ambassador Schultz also donated over 100 bicycles to the Lealui palace as part of a community activism campaign to fight Gender Based Violence (GBV) and HIV, of which 30 were donated to indunas.

He also mentioned a $27.4 million dollars stamping out and GBV preventing program co-funded by USAID and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DfID) that had been in operation since 2012.

Ambassador Schultz further stated that the U.S. government had contributed more than $15 million dollars to the Sefula Rural Health Center over the past five years for comprehensive HIV/AIDS services.

He also urged the local leaders to sensitize residents about the benefits of knowing their HIV status.

During the visit, Ambassador Schultz paid a courtesy calls on Wetern Province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu, Mongu mayor Akayombokwa Kusiyo, Mongu Bishop Reverend Evans Chinyama Chinyemba, and King of the Lozi people His Majesty Litunga Edwin Lubosi Imwiko II.