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Govt to progressively increase health budget allocation – Ng’andu

FINANCE minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu says kits are an effective solution to healthcare challenges.

During the signing ceremony between Zambia and Japan for the exchange of notes on the project for Japan’s grant aid “economic and social development programme” – procurement of health centre kits, Dr Ng’andu said kits provide a guaranteed package of key essential medicines in the right quantities at the right time for most people especially in rural areas.

He expressed gratitude to the government of Japan for the continued support to the Zambian government in efforts to uplift the health and living standards of the people.

Dr Ng’andu said Japan’s support as reflected in “this project” was yet again a clear indication of their unwavering commitment.

“You may wish to note that; the government of Zambia has in the past benefited from a similar grant where the Japanese government procured health centre kits for the Ministry of Health and the support went a long way in addressing the shortages of medicines. I wish to state that the commodities were equitably distributed,” he said. “Through the signing of these exchange of notes, that you have just witnessed, Japan will provide a grant of 300 million yen or 2.82 million United States dollars to finance the procurement of health centre kits to respond to the immediate primary health care needs of the citizens.”

Dr Ng’andu said the government recognised that strong health systems, through use of primary health care approach, was a cornerstone to meeting Vision 2030 aspiration.

“My government has further acknowledged that kits are an effective solution to healthcare challenges because they provide a guaranteed package of key essential medicines in the right quantities at the right time for most people especially in rural areas. To adequately carter for primary health care needs of the present Zambian population, about 2,500 health centre kits is required per month,” he said.
“To this end, the Zambian government has committed itself to progressively increase the budget allocation for health care services. This year, 13.43 per cent of the budget allocation for health care services is for the primary health care needs.”

He said the procurement of health centre kits by the Japanese government would assist the Zambian government through the Ministry of Health to respond to the immediate health commodity needs.

Dr Ng’andu reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring that the kits would be put to good use and ensure all provinces benefit.

He said he was confident that the support of health centre kits would make a real socially desirable impact on the health of the Zambian people.

Dr Ng’andu said the health kits would go a long way in achieving the universal health coverage.

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