Zambia's Health Sector among the best in Africa

ZAMBIA'S HEALTH SECTOR AMONG THE BEST IN AFRICA


Despite the challenges we face as a country, we have in the last few years put in place the fundamental pillars in our health sector which will be the cornerstone for the universal health coverage for all the citizens and advancements of health care  in our Country.

1. The legacy goals clearly stipulates our vision and direction where we would like to take our health sector in the future.

2. The strengthening of our supply chain system by establishing medical stores hubs across the country ensures increased storage capacity and bringing health commodities closer to the people once fully operational reducing on lead times from ordering upto when the commodities available in the facilities across the country.

3. The establishment of the Zambia national institute of public health and Zambia health research authority: these two institutions have created a capacity for public health advancement and pandemic preparedness and  coordinated and dedicated health research which will be key in developing our health care system in the country.

4. Health care financing is big issue both in developed and developing countries is one of key electoral campaign topics in most countries.  School of thoughts differ between private and public sectors  health financing to ensure universal health coverage using different  financing mechanisms such private sector driven insurance schemes, use of government owned insurance companies and government driven healthcare insurance scheme. In Zambia the enactment of national health financing  law and establishment national health insurance scheme will bring a different dimension in health financing.

5. Mordenisation of health care infrastructure and construction of health posts, health centres and specialist hospitals in different parts of the country are bring quality health care services to the people.  Reducing on cost of referrals to distant places and ensuring quality health services are near and accessible everywhere in Zambia.

6. The establishment of the college of physicians in country have made it easier to provide specialised training to more physicians around the country using various hospitals while building capacities in these hospitals.

7. The Smart Zambia strategy has also extended to the health sector by increasing number of facilities  with health information management systems, electronic patient records, supply chain information managements and  laboratory information management systems though the challenges of power supply have affected full implementation and benefits of this development.  But going foward e-health  and technology will be the key drivers of health interventions.

8. Increased training capacity of various health care professionals by both private and public institutions has created a large human resource in Zambia. What we need to do is ensure improved quality of training for our professionals for the improved standards of our health care services.  We can also export skilled professionals as experts to other countries for their personal development and the country at large.

9. The value which  multilateral funders and partners have added to health sector is enormous to quantify.  The key funders supporting the government to achieve all the above include the following EU, Pefar, Global Fund, CDC, USAID, JICA,DFID, UN, WHO, UN Agencies,China, India to mention but a few. The various stakeholders in some cases the corporate world have also played part but not forgetting the Zambian citizens.

In conclusion , Zambia has seen massive and unprecedented developments and investments in the health sector in the last few years which have created a strong fundamention for future development and provision. Health of citizens is a driver for economic emancipation of the country.  The more health the people are they drive the economy by being productive or being able work. Let continue to invest in our health sector for healthier and better country. We have done alot of good things in our health sector but we also have gaps which we need to work on to better our health sector.

Ivin Chibanda

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