Zambia has signed exchange notes with Japan for an additional grant of US$17 million for the upgrade of health centres to district hospitals in the Copperbelt province.
Japan will provide an additional grant of US$17 million to the US$25 million which was earlier given to Zambia.
The latest funds brings the total amount of grant to US$42 million (about K840 million) to upgrade health centres into district hospitals in the Copperbelt province.
Once this project is completed, citizens of Ndola and Kitwe districts will directly benefit from the improvements of medical facilities, Japan Ambassador Zambia, Takeuchi Kazuyuki said at the signing ceremony in Lusaka on Thursday.
Kazuyuki said the project was aimed at strengthening the Zambian health system itself, and in particular to enable the Zambian government deal with infectious diseases and other common but serious illnesses in the long term.
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“We have been cooperating in the health sector for many years in Zambia, and as a result, many more citizens of such places as Lusaka have improved access to high-level medical services.
“The fundamental improvement of health services in densely populated areas such as these two districts is yet another significant initiative by the Zambian government to effectively overcome the challenges arising from medical problems such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and lifestyle-related diseases like hypertension,” he said.
Japan, he said, expected that Zambia, with a wholly strengthened health system, would emerge as a stronger and more resilient player in Sub-Saharan.
“Pandemics, such as the current Covid-19, occur at regular intervals. As we deal with current challenges, we must prepare for the future when we face the surge of a new pandemic.
“Africa and demonstrate its success stories. This is how Japan sees its own role in Zambia’s development and Zambia’s role as a model for Africa in the course of achieving sustainable development in the health sector of the country,” Kazuyuki said.
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Meanwhile, Finance and National Planning Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane said this additional grant by Japan towards Zambia would assist government to adequately carter for primary health care needs of the people of Chamboli Township in Kitwe and Mushili Township in Ndola.
Musokotwane said in Kitwe and Ndola districts, lack of first and second-level public hospitals, had put pressure on the existing third-level hospitals such as Kitwe teaching hospital and Ndola teaching hospital due to great demand of basic medical services.
“Therefore, the improvement and expansion of first-level hospitals in both areas will reduce the burden on the third-level hospitals to access better basic medical services.
“Through this grant from Japan, the two hospitals will be supplied with medical equipment such x-ray diagnostic equipment, ultrasonic diagnostic equipment, operating table, among others,” he said.
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