NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT is grateful to the United Statesâ€™ support to defence and security personnel through the provision of healthcare services.
Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary Rose Salukatula, at the launch of the US-sponsored telemedicine programme at Maina Soko Military Hospital on Thursday, thanked the US for the continuous funding of HIV/AIDS programmes in the ministry.
Ms Salukatula, in a speech read by the Ministry of Defenceâ€™s Director of Human Resources, Rainford Simumbwe, expressed Governmentâ€™s commitment to the bilateral cooperation that it has continued to enjoy with the US government.
â€œThe US government through the Presidential Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) funds has been working with the Ministry of Defence by providing training of heathcare staff in various HIV/AIDS-related areas,â€ she said.
Ms Salukatula said the healthcare system has continued evolving, hence the need for health personnel to continue seeking new avenues of acquiring knowledge in line with changing trends in disease patterns.
She said it important to appreciate the fact that access to specialised healthcare in most parts of the country is not easy, especially in remote areas.
Ms Salukatula said the telemedicine launch at Maina Soko Military Hospital will make it a hub of excellence in telehealth.
And America International Health Alliance (AIHA) president David Greeley said his organisation has been working with the Zambia defence forces since 2005.
Mr Greeley said telemedicine effectively eliminates barriers to access heathcare services.
â€œTelemedicine has great potential to reduce morbidity and mortality rates as well as to improve the quality of life of people living in rural areas,â€ he said.
And Embassy of America Defence Coordinator, Christopher Ross, said the telemedicine programme will serve as a catalyst for increasing equity of access to quality and specialised treatment services
Mr Ross said the telehealth equipment will be used by health practitioners for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis and treatment among others.
NANCY SIAME, Lusaka