Zambia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Japanese government for the provision of over US$2 million to finance the procurement of health centre kits in response to Zambians’ healthcare needs.
And Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu has expressed confidence that the support of health centre kits will go a long way in achieving universal health coverage and make a real, socially desirable impact on Zambians’ healthcare.
Speaking on Tuesday during the official signing ceremony between Zambia and Japan for the exchange of notes on the project for Japan’s grant aid dubbed: “economic and social development programme” procurement of health centre kits, Dr Ng’andu, who signed on behalf of the Zambian government, also thanked the people of Japan for their generosity.
“Your support as reflected in this project is yet again a clear indication of your unwavering commitment. You may wish to note that; the government of Zambia has in the past benefited from a similar grant where the Japanese government procured health centre kits for the Ministry of Health and the support went a long way in addressing the shortages of medicines. I wish to state that the commodities were equitably distributed. Through the signing of these exchange of notes that you have just witnessed, Japan will provide a grant of 300 million yen or 2.82 million United States dollars to finance the procurement of health centre kits to respond to the immediate primary healthcare needs of the citizens,” Dr Ng’andu said.
He explained that government was aware of the fact that strong health systems, through use of the primary healthcare approach, was a cornerstone to meeting its Vision 2030 aspiration.
“My government has further acknowledged that kits are an effective solution to healthcare challenges because they provide a guaranteed package of key essential medicines in the right quantities at the right time for most people, especially in rural areas. To adequately cater for primary healthcare needs of the present Zambian population, about 2,500 health centre kits is required per month. To this end, the Zambian government has committed itself to progressively increase the budget allocation for healthcare services. This year, 13.43 per cent of the budget allocation for healthcare services is for the primary healthcare needs. Therefore, the procurement of health centre kits by the Japanese government will assist the Zambian government, through the Ministry of Health, to respond to the immediate health commodity needs,” said Dr Ng’andu.
“I wish to reiterate government’s commitment to ensuring that the kits will be put to good use and ensure all provinces benefit. I am confident that through this support of health centre kits will make a real, socially desirable impact on the health of the Zambian people. The health kits will, indeed, go a long way in achieving the universal health coverage.”