Low Health Funding Worries Kaseba

FIRST Lady Christine Kaseba is saddened by the decline of donor funding to the health sector over the years despite their significant commitment on vertical programmes like malaria, TB, and HIVAIDS.

Dr Kaseba said Zambia has increased its prioritisation of resources for key issues such as the health budget by more than 300 per cent from US$173,000 to $750,000 from 2009 to 2014.

“This budget is certainly not enough to meet all the needs but it demonstrates Government commitment and more requires to be done,” Dr Kaseba said.

Dr Kaseba said this during her address to the Skoll World Forum (2014) session dubbed ‘The Impact Jackpot: Service Delivery Innovation for the Very Poor’ held at the Oxford University in the United Kingdom yesterday.

She told the forum on social entrepreneurship that Government and the civil society had partnered in the provision of primary healthcare to the vulnerable.

She cited one such a decision as the taking over of payment of salaries for health workers in church-run institutions which had helped to expand the provision of critical primary healthcare to rural communities.

She also stated that her non-governmental organisation (NGO) Ubutala Bwabumi, in partnership with traditional leaders and communities in innovations such as screening for cervical cancer, has created positive demand for health services to a point where poor rural communities were now holding members of Parliament accountable.

“Chiefs and women in rural Zambia now know basic information on cervical cancer and are telling their political representatives that if they did not deliver those services they would vote for them at the next elections,” she said.

Dr Kaseba regretted that many women still die of preventable conditions which was painful to her as a gynaecologist, hence her reason to set up an NGO to create partnerships with communities.

She told the gathering that there were many reforms and innovations in Zambia aimed improving the health sector in line with the mission statement of providing equitable access to cost effective, quality health services as close to the family as possible.

The First Lady was accompanied by High Commissioner Paul Lumbi, Acting Deputy High Commissioner Amos Chanda, Counsellor-Economics Ms Ikayi Mushinge, and Mr Mubita Luwabelwa.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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