ZAMBIA is seeking equity of access to quality health care services which should be as close to the family as possible, President Edgar Lungu has told the global forum for the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership (EDCTP). The head of State said in line with Zambia’s national health research act and policy, his government was committed to the meaningful development of health research. He said in order to improve service delivery, government had enabled an unprecedented increase in health research by both local and international institutions. Speaking during official opening of the eight global forum for the European and Developing countries Clinical Trials Partnerships (EDCTP) at New Government Complex yesterday, President Lungu said there was still need to scale up the contribution of the phenomenon to local policy decisions and programmes. “This can only happen if there are ambitious, world class programmes such as the European and Developing countries clinical trials partnership. This will translate into Zambia which is part of the global community to become a leader in relevant, policy friendly scientific excellence in health research,” President Lungu said. The President underscored the need to ensure that all ethical considerations in the treatment of Zambians as subjects of health research were strictly followed. President Lungu said he was proud for Zambia to be picked as preferred destination for health research because of its strategic geographical location, good infrastructure, stable political environment and a good track record in health care. The head of State said the forum was one of the most prominent conferences on HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis, Malaria and other neglected infectious diseases prevalent in the African continent. He said the forum provided an opportunity for dialogue and exchange of great ideas between and among scientists, policy makers, funders, donors and global health advocates in the fields of clinical development for effective and accessible interventions against poverty-related diseases. “My Government’s vision resonates with the ideals of the forum because we are pursuing an inclusive development agenda, whose cornerstone is not to leave anyone behind,” he said. The forum is being held under the theme “Defeating poverty-related and neglected diseases in Africa: Harnessing research for evidence informed policies”. President said the theme was close to his heart because neglected tropical disease placed an unacceptable burden on the health of the poorest people in Zambia, particularly in the rural areas. He said the Zambian government was committed to fostering health research and development as it would improve the quality and quantity of Zambia driven research exponentially. The Head of State implored the forum to engage in transformative dialogue that would results in historical decisions to guide not only for participating countries but also define how all the countries conduct business.