Govt plans to raise health spending

Finance Minister Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu says the Zambian Government has committed itself to progressively increase the budget allocation for health care services.

Dr. Ng’andu said this year, 13.43 per cent of the budget allocation for health care services is for primary health care needs.

He said this at a 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.

“Firstly, allow me to express our gratitude to the government of Japan for the continued support to the Zambian government in efforts to uplift the health and living standards of our people. Your support, as reflected in this project, is yet again a clear indication of your unwavering commitment,” Dr Ng’andu said.

“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 further indicated that through the signing of these exchange of notes, Japan will provide a grant of 300 million yen or US$2.82 million 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 recognizes that a strong health system, through use of primary health care approach, is 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,”  said Dr Ng’andu.

“To adequately cater for primary health care needs of the present Zambian population, about 2,500 health centre kits is required per month. Therefore, the procurement of health centre kits by the Japanese government will assist the Zambian government through the ministry of health to respond to the immediate health commodity needs.”