Editor's Comment

Healthy citizenry key to economic development

HEALTH is an essential component of humanity. When one’s health fails, the consequences extend beyond the person, affecting families, communities, the economy and the well-being of a nation.
Research has also established that a country’s ability to thrive is intricately linked to the health of its citizens.
This is why former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was able to proclaim that “Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have”.
While it is widely acknowledged that education and skills play an important role in the development of any country, it is folly to underrate or ignore the role health plays in the process.
Having an educated and trained workforce is not sufficient because the physical and mental well-being is necessary for productivity.
It is therefore indisputable that the greatest natural resource a country can ever have is a healthy citizenry.
It also goes without saying that any country that is truly committed to its development will place health top on its agenda.
We are happy that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has prioritised the health of Zambians as a key economic investment to stir national development.
This is confirmation of Government’s understanding of the correlation between the health of citizens and economic development.
Government’s commitment to building a healthy nation is well validated by the significant strides made in the health sector in the last five years.
In the last few years, we have seen unprecedented investment in the construction of health facilities across the country.
This is part of Government’s ambitious plan to construct a total of 650 health posts across the country.
We have also witnessed the upgrading of clinics like Matero and Chilenje and many others to mini-hospitals to improve the quality and range of services accessed by people in their communities.
In a bid to reduce referrals to high level hospitals, which are only found in Lusaka and on the Copperbelt, Government has been working to equip low-level hospitals with necessary and highly specialised medical equipment.
One such beneficiary is Mansa General Hospital which recently received a Computerised Tormography (CT) scan machine and oxygen plant worthy K11 million.
Government is also keen on ensuring adequate health personnel as seen from the recruitment of 7,400 health workers this year alone.
It is a well-known fact, that adequate personnel, just like infrastructure and medical equipment, is key to providing quality healthcare services.
Going by the strides made so far it is undeniable that Zambia is on the right path in providing  equitable access to cost-effective, quality healthcare services as close to the family as possible in line with the health sector mission.
Not too long ago, the Vice-President, Inonge Wina, implored Zambians to adopt healthy eating habits.
This is because making Zambia a healthy nation requires a holistic approach which includes both prevention and provision of quality health care services.
So far Government seems resolute on leaving no stone unturned in its quest to make Zambia a nation of healthy and productive people who are able to contribute to our socio-economic development.

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