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World Bank to increase funding to Health Systems Project

THE World Bank says it will increase funding to the Health Systems Strengthening Project because of the positive performance it has recorded.

World Bank Task Team leader for Zambia Health Service Improvement Project Dr Rosemary Sunkuntu said this in a presentation during the Ministry of Health Annual Consultative that the bank was considering additional funding because of the positive performance of the project.

The US$67 million Health System Strengthening Project which started in 2015, was scheduled to end on June 30 this year but the World Bank has extended it by one year.

The project among many things looks at increasing numbers of nurses and midwives, improving the drug supply chain and community health.

“The World Bank intends to continue doing that, one of the areas I think which has been identified by the cooperating partners is to ensure that we improve efficiency and equitable access to service delivery at primary health care level that is one area which the World Bank is going to ensure that it continues supporting,” Dr Sunkuntu said.

She said the bank would soon begin discussions in terms of what form of support to the primary health care with the Ministry of Health.

“We just completed the Public Expenditure Review and Quality of Service review delivery. We are confident that the World Bank will take up some of the aspects in terms of ensuring that they plough back, ensuring we strengthen the systems to achieve Universal Healthcare Coverage,” Dr Sunkuntu said.

She reaffirmed that the World Bank would continue supporting the regional TB project.

She said the World Bank was also preparing a regional project to support the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention strengthening systems to control infectious diseases.

Dr Sunkuntu said the support would go to the Africa CDC and also the regional collaborating centre with Ethiopia and Zambia being the initial countries to be considered.

“So that process of preparation of the project has started and we are in discussions with the Zambia National Public Health Institute in terms of ensuring that we support the control of infectious diseases through the one health agenda,” said Dr Sunkuntu.

And health minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya said primary health care would be on the wall for all to see this year.

He said there would be a lot of health promotion programmes throughout the year.

Dr Chilufya said although there was also a reduction in the budget this year, there were other ways of raising resources such as the health insurance and other innovative financing mechanisms.

He said partnership with the communities would be very cardinal this year.

Dr Chilufya said government would continue to work very closely with the Churches Health Association of Zambia to strengthen partnerships with traditional leaders.

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