Finance Minister Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu says that the Zambian government has committed itself to progressively increase the budget allocation for health care services.
Dr. Ng’andu said that government recognizes that strong health systems through the use of the primary health care approach is a cornerstone to meeting aspirations for vision 2030.
Speaking at the official signing ceremony between Zambia and Japan for the exchange of notes on the project for Japan’s grant aid “Economic and Social Development Programme,” Dr. Ng’andu expressed gratitude to the government of japan for their continued support to the Zambian government in efforts to uplift the health and living standards of the people.
He added that the government of Zambia has in the past benefited from a similar grant where the Japanese government has procured health Center kits for the Ministry of Health.
“The support went a long way in addressing the shortages of medicines and I wish to state that the commodities were equitably distributed,” Dr. Ng’andu said.
He further added that through the signing of exchange of notes, Japan will provide a grant of 300 million yen (USD2.82 million) to finance the procurement of health Centre kits which will respond to the immediate primary health care needs of the citizens.
He noted that government has acknowledged that the kits are an effective solution to healthcare challenges as they provide a guaranteed package of key essential medicines in the right quantities at the right time for most people, especially in rural areas.
The Finance Minister stated that to adequately carter for primary health care needs of the present Zambian population, about 2,500 health centre kits are required per month.
“To this end this year, 13.43% of the budget allocation for health care services is for the primary health care needs. Therefore, the procurement of health Center kits by the Japanese government will assist the Zambian government through the ministry of health to respond to the immediate health commodity needs,” said the Finance Minister.
Government noted that it was committed to ensuring that the kits will be put to good use and that all provinces benefit.
Through the support of health center kits, a desirable social impact on the health of the Zambian people will be seen and the health kits will indeed go a long way in achieving the universal health coverage.