Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo says Government has placed emphasis on increasing healthcare funding, as Zambia continues to experience a double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Ms Masebo revealed that the government has so far doubled financing towards the malaria programme from K91 million to K197 million Kwacha.
Ms Masebo said that President Hakainde Hichilema has prioritized malaria as a disease of public health concern and heightened advocacy for increased financing to end Malaria.
She made the remarks during the Financing for Malaria Side Event at the 73rd Session of the World Health Organisation Committee for Africa in Botswana.
She explained the fight against malaria has not been an easy undertaking, given the many challenges the country is faced with, including high national debt, competing social sectors, and the global economic difficulties.
“I am happy to report today that despite all these challenges, we are resolved as a Government to continue increasing health financing towards the Abuja Declaration target,” said Ms Masebo.
The Minister further indicated that Government is committed to addressing the remaining gap for long-lasting Insecticide Treated Nets required for distribution at Antenatal Care and Under 5 Immunization Clinics.
She disclosed that Government plans to procure two million nets at a cost of about $11.3 million United States Dollars.
The Minister said that this is in addition to the planned 2023 mass distribution of 11.5 million nets, with support from the Global Fund, US President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and the Against Malaria Foundation (AMF).
Ms Masebo noted that Government has also procured all the required insecticides for the 2023 and 2024 Indoor Residual Spray (IRS) programme, to be conducted in 32 targeted districts, covering 900,000 structures.
Meanwhile, former World Bank Executive Director Taufila Nyamadzabo said the Bank is committed to fund African countries towards eliminating malaria.
This is according to a statement issued to the media by First Secretary for Press at the Zambian High Commission in Botswana, Julia Malunga.