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Central and Western Provinces Receive a Development Boost with £15.5M UK Funding in collaboration with UNFPA and UNICEF

To contribute to national efforts aimed at ending preventable deaths of Women, Newborn, Children and Adolescents, the Ministry of Health; the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have signed a £15.5 million Joint Programme for Health System Strengthening and Social Accountability - funded by the UK Department for International Development (DfID) in Zambia.

The Joint Programme, which will be implemented in Central and Western Provinces from 2017 to 2021, aims to ensure “Improved Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health and Nutrition by the year 2021” in the target Provinces.

Speaking at the signing ceremony held on 30th October 2017, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Administration Dr. Kennedy Malama expressed the Ministries’ appreciation for the significant contribution by the United Kingdom, noting that the funding will support ongoing national efforts aimed at ensuring women, newborns, children, adolescents and youth in Zambia have access to services that are as close to them as possible, through the primary health care system.

“The Programme that has been jointly signed by the Ministry of Health, UNFPA and UNICEF today will give the Ministry leverage towards achieving the 2021 national targets of reducing maternal mortality rates from the current 398 to less than 100 per 100,000 live births; and under 5 mortality rates from the current 75 to 35 per 100,000 live births. As Government, we will take this investment seriously, to ensure accountability for both resources as well as results” Dr. Malama said.

And speaking on behalf of the collaborating UN Agencies for the Joint Programme (UNFPA and UNICEF), UNFPA Representative Dr. Mary Otieno reaffirmed the collective commitments of the United Nations System and cooperating partners in Zambia, to intensify actions in collaboration with government at all levels towards ensuring rights-based RMNCAH&N service delivery is accessible to women and their newborn, children, adolescents and women in Western and Central provinces.

“Over the past 10 years, Zambia has recorded significant progress in key Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health & Nutrition (RMNCAH&N) indicators, and we are pleased to note renewed commitment from government and partners as articulated in the National Strategic Health Plan (NSHP) to close the outstanding gaps at policy, systems, structures, community levels. As UNFPA and UNICEF, we are committed to ensuring that prioritized High Impact Interventions using the Health Systems Strengthening framework along the RMNCAH&N Continuum of Care are implemented; that gender equality, community participation & inclusion have center place in the programme design, implementation and monitoring; that accountability for results and actions is strengthened including a strong community voice and; as well as ensuring we collectively draw  lessons from global evidence and best practices that are applicable and relevant to Zambia” Dr. Otieno said.

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary-Administration (C); UNFPA Representative (L1); UNICEF Chief of Health and Nutrition (L2); UNFPA Deputy Representative (L3); Ministry of Health Director of Public Health (L4); UK Department for International Development Health Adviser (R1); Ministry of Health Director of Health Promotions (R2); UNFPA Programme Specialist-Reproductive Health (R1)

Also speaking at the signing ceremony, UK Department for International Development Health Advisor Ms. Uzoamaka Gilpin reiterated the United Kingdom’s commitment to support the overall health and wellbeing of Zambians.

“This Joint Programme complements DFID’s support to Zambia through Global health initiatives, for which DFID’s support has increased in recent years.  We commend the new bold vision of the Ministry of Health with the emphasis on strengthening primary health care. DFID reaffirms its commitment to work jointly with the Ministry of Health and partners to build the Ministry’s technical and managerial capacity; and demonstrate delivery of effective high impact health services that improve the lives of children, women and adolescents in Western and Central Provinces” Ms. Gilpin said.

The Government of the Republic of Zambia through the Ministry of Health at national, Central and Western Provinces; in collaboration with DfID, UNFPA and UNICEF reaffirmed commitments to achieving results reflected in the Seventh National Development Plan through its theme “Accelerating development efforts towards the Vision 2030 without leaving anyone behind”.