PRISCILLA MWILA, Lusaka
MINISTER of Health Chitalu Chilufya says Government will allocate more resources to national public health institutions to support disease surveillance activities to enhance prevention and response to outbreaks such as Ebola.
Dr Chilufya said the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a wake-up call for all African countries to make their health systems more resilient, respond quickly and timely.
He was speaking when the World Health Organisation (WHO) donated assorted personal Ebola protective equipment to the ministry on Friday.
“WHO remains our key ally in ensuring the health system is strengthened and access to health services is expanded. This donation is very timely, people coming into the country should use designated crossing points to access our services. We want to protect the public from outbreaks such as Ebola,” he said.
And WHO country representative Jacob Mufunda said in addition to the skilled health workers, adequate supplies and equipment should be available to improve capacities and health systems for stronger surveillance.
In a speech read on his behalf by WHO officer-in-charge Mary Bwalya, Dr Mufunda said the donation is aimed at supporting the ministry to deliver efficient and timely health care.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has launched the first-ever mobile survey on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) using mobile phone technology.
Dr Chilufya said the move is in line with President Lungu’s directive to implement e-Governance and Smart Zambia.
He said during the launch on Friday that the survey will solicit responses from the public on risk factors that predispose citizens to NCDs.
Dr Chilufya said mobile phone surveys can serve as an efficient and cost-effective tool to rapidly collect data.
“Infrastructure to carry out the survey has been set up by my ministry with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative, and other stakeholders. The pilot-testing for the survey will be conducted countrywide from May 22 to 31, 2017,” he said.