State launches $67 million health project

GOVERNMENT has launched a US$67 million health project aimed at improving health delivery systems and utilisation of maternal, new-born and child health.
The Zambia Health Services Improvement Project (ZHSIP) funded by the World Bank is expected to run for five years.
Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde said the project will help address immediate as well as systemic and medium-term bottlenecks to service delivery for pregnant women, lactating mothers, new-borns and young children, especially at primary care and community levels.
Dr Kasonde said in a speech read for him by deputy Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya yesterday that the project will be implemented in Muchinga, North-Western, Nothern, Luapula and Western provinces.
“Government successfully applied for a loan and grant from the World Bank to implement ZHSIP in five provinces. On March 21, 2014, Zambia was officially awarded an international development association credit of US$52.5 million which will be complemented by a US$15 million grant from the health result innovation trust fund,” he said.
He said the project is well-timed and will supplement Government’s efforts in improving maternal, new-born, child health and nutrition services.
Dr Kasonde said the project will use country-specific systems and data to stimulate and support progress towards achieving health goals.
He said the project will also focus on coverage of effective interventions for maternal, new-born and child health and coverage determinants such as health systems, policies, financial flows as well as equity.
He also said the ministry will use the funding to catalyse the country’s efforts to improve health service delivery and its aim is to support national and health sector policies.
World Bank country director Ina-Mazlene Ruthenburg called on Government not to delay in implementing the project and that it should not just end on paper.
She said the World Bank will continue supporting Zambia in various areas of need.

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