THE United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) has said that Zambia will soon become a regional centre of excellence and leader in protecting the region against disease outbreaks and health emergencies.
US-CDC principal deputy director Nirav Shah said that Zambia through the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNHPI) working with partners had already started regional responses to diseases.
Dr Shah said yesterday when he met President Hakainde Hichilema at State House that his agency had since 2015 supported the creation of the ZNPHI and trained more than 200 disease detectors who responded to health threats.
He said since then the ZNPHI had become home to the Africa CDC regional coordinating centre and commended President Hichilema for launching the Lusaka Call to Action initiative meant to strengthen public health preparedness in 2022.
He said he was happy that the Zambia-CDC had transitioned 75 per cent of funding from the US-CDC to support local institutions and the ministry of Health adding that there would be more collaboration.
Dr Shah said that in its 70 years of existence the US-CDC had worked with Zambia for 20 years to improve health outcomes. Its programmes in Zambia were largely focused on HIV/AIDS as it supported more almost have of the 1.2 million people on HIV treatment and more than half of mothers received mother to child prevention services.
He said US-CDC had partnered with the Government to build critical global capabilities to prevent, detect and respond to numerous public health threats including COVID-19, polio, measles, cholera and ebola.
President Hichilema has thanked the US Government through US- CDC for the continued support to the country’s health care services delivery for many years.
He said the health sector had received the major support from the US Government such as on HIV and universal health coverage.
He said there was need for further partnership between the two countries in improving the health care provision for the benefit of the vulnerable people.
President Hichilema thanked Dr Shah and his team for attending the ongoing International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA) currently taking place in Lusaka from 27 to 30 November.