Innovative tools key to achieving universal health coverage – Chilufya

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Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya has stressed that innovative engagement of communities is key to achieving universal health coverage.

Dr. Chilufya also echoed the need for partnership to ensure that rectal artesunate is financed and rolled out at a National level.

“These innovative tools through health products need to summon a coalition of partners for improved health care, financing also need to summon nations to improve resource mobilisation locally-innovative resource mobilisation” stressed the Minister.

The Minister noted also that Zambia had introduced a new law, the compulsory health insurance that was a more predictable way of raising resources for financing health care in Zambia.

He added that Zambia had managed to cut 96% of deaths due to severe malaria in a pilot rural community involving Under Five children using rectal artesunate as a pre-referral treatment of severe malaria in children.

Dr. Chilufya is in Lyon, France participating at the on-going Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment Conference. The Conference, graced by the French President, Mr. Emmanuel macron is being attended by various Heads of States, Heads of Government, Philanthropists, NGOs and International Organisations.

He was among the panellists on a side event to discuss the current synergies between the global fund, product development partnerships (PDPs), and other innovators at global, national and local levels for scaling up access and uptake of health technologies to accelerate the achievement of SDG3 target to end HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The Minister said innovative engagement of communities through religious leaders, traditional leaders, teachers was key to ensure that the health innovations trickle down and have a higher impact on achieving a universal health coverage.

Dr. Chilufya informed the gathering that he enjoyed support at its political summit from the Republican President His Excellency Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu who was committed to ensuring universal health coverage in Zambia by ensuring that nobody was left behind in terms of health care services.

The Minister further said that through the support of Global fund, Zambia had been able to scale up the rapidly and highly sensitive diagnostic tools for TB in form of genexpert which had spurred the fight against TB in Zambia.

He further pointed out that through this support, treatment success for both susceptible TB and drug resistant TB had improved to 90% and 78% respectively from 85% and 31% over the last five (5) years.

“Zambia has been piloting the HIV-Self testing kits and that the uptake of HIV testing has improved. Zambia has also committed to transitioning all those who are HIV positive currently on ARVs to Doutegravir (DTG) based regimens that has resulted in supressed HIV viral loads” the Minister added.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31