Angolan Minister of Health Dr Silvia Paula Valentim Lutucuta says it would be prudent for her country and Zambia to partner because they face similar health problems.

Speaking when she toured the University Teaching Hospital and the Medical Stores Limited in Lusaka yesterday, Dr Lutucuta said there was need to find a lasting solution within the two bordering countries.

“It is important that we work together as sister countries because Angola and Zambia have the same problems. We are ready to work with you and it is important for us to be here so that we can strengthen the relationship that we have in the health sector. We have common problems that we can work together to resolve, some of these problems are small and others are bigger but we need to find common strategies of working together. We have common problems such as health infrastructure and finance, our common goal therefore is to ensure that we combat the illnesses and find a solutions to the problems. We are also facing challenges in this area of malaria and apparently the new disease that we have is cholera,” Dr Lutucuta said.

“We also have tuberculosis challenges, chronic diseases and other infections. I believe that today we are going to start a new page and exchange ideas on how we’ve worked to handle different illnesses. We need to find a lasting solution within our bordering countries, I believe there are other technicalities that we need to discuss but we shall continue to be grateful to the ministry of health for the help they have given us in Angola, thank you so much for every assistance you have given us. It is our responsibility to further come up with a strategy to combat all the diseases that would come in future and have a lasting solution together.”

Meanwhile, Dr Lutucuta commended the Zambian government for the strides it has made in improving the health sector and confessed tht her country had so much to learn.

“I will leave with a very good impression, I believe you are very organised and the hospitals are very well equipped and something that impressed me the most was that we have Zambians who are very well trained and they are able to take care of heart of the state medicines and do a good job. We have the same diseases and this is one of the things that brought us here, we have a big outbreak of malaria and cholera and we have to define a common strategy for the boarder and then we learn everywhere so sharing the knowledge you learn is very important, that’s why we are here. We need to have a vision because our people depend on the strategies that we put together to alleviate them from diseases. We are aware that cholera should be treated well with good water and sanitation and we in Angola are working very well with the multi-sector and I understand that here in Zambia you are also working with the same strategy,” said Dr Lutucuta.

Dr Lutucuta also commended staff at UTH on the successful separation of the Siamese twins.

And Zambia’s Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya emphasised the need for the two countries to work together in improving the delivery of health services.

“Zambia and Angola have enjoyed very warm bilateral relations of a long period of time and it is good that your visit today serves to reaffirm the friendship. Today we have common health problems that we share as the two countries and it is important that we share good practices and such a visit provides a platform for us to exchange notes, I also note that when we met last night (Sunday) we did touch on areas where we could cooperate. Honourable minister, Zambia has a robust programme to strengthen health systems for delivering of universal health coverage to the people. Now the plan is to strengthen certain structures of our health systems, infrastructure, human resource, strong leadership and accountability among other things. But to do all this we need to ensure that we have got resources so health care financing is a top priority for us. So we are innovating to see how we can rise resources for such things,” said Dr Chilufya.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has launched the second round of the Cholera vaccination exercise in Lusaka’s Kanyama and Chawama townships.