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United States seeks Zambia’s health priorities

HAKAINDE HICHILEMA with US VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS.

MONICA KAYOMBO, Lusaka
THE United States (US) says it will endeavour to foster its relationship with the National Assembly of Zambia as the partnership represents the aspirations of many Zambians. And the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services has assured the US government of prudent use of resources in the Ministry of Health. US Charge d’ Affairs Sheryl Stumbras says her country wants to hear more of the committee’s priorities and explore opportunities for collaboration. Ms Stumbras said this yesterday when she met the 10-member Parliamentary Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services  at the US embassy. “We work hand-in-hand with the Government of the republic of Zambia and under the leadership of the Ministry of Health to ensure our programme aligns with your priorities,’’ Ms Stumbras said.
She also implored Members of Parliament (MPs) to lead the way in their constituencies and ensure that eligible people get vaccinated against COVID-19. Ms Stumbras said the US is the largest donor to Zambia’s health sector, benefiting over 15 million people. And the committee’s chairperson, Christopher Kalila, said health is a complex undertaking, hence a global priority because it promotes sustainable development. Dr Kalila said health matters quite often feature highly even in political campaigns worldwide because health is a pillar of sustainable growth. “You need healthy citizens to be able to advance economic development and to do so, you need both material and financial resources,” Dr Kalila said. He said the Zambian government is grateful to the US for being the largest donor to the health sector to a tune of over K9 billion. Dr Kalila said the committee has further noted with gratitude the US’ contribution to the COVID-19 response, which includes donation of 1.5 million vaccine doses. “In line with the evidence globally, we believe the vaccinations will protect us from catastrophic hospitalisation that could lead to mortality. This will also protect our health system,’’ Dr Kalila said. CLICK TO READ MORE


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