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Monday 24 June 2019: The Speaker of the National Assembly in Zambia, Hon. Patrick Matibini has officially launched the Parliamentarians dialogue and study tour on universal health coverage, health financing, immunization, population and development.

Hosted by the Government and Parliament of Zambia, the delegation included Members of Parliament from Africa and Europe, who are members of the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF); the African Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (FPA); the SADC Parliamentary Forum. Key experts from UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO are also part of the delegation.

Specific objectives of the dialogue and study tour include:

  • To consider ‘Progress, Challenges and Solutions to Financing Essential Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Reproductive Health (RH) Commodities.
  • To build momentum for International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) by adopting and committing to the ‘UHC Communiqué and ‘Ottawa Declaration’

This collaborative dialogue and study tour has presented key opportunities for the Parliamentarians to consider the emerging challenges and to reflect on solutions that can strengthen the Health System and especially Health Financing for Reproductive Health Supplies among other issues. It has also provided an opportunity to raise awareness among Parliamentarians on the political and financing support that is required to advance the ICPD agenda.

Throughout the dialogue and tour, key note addresses by the Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Dr Patrick Matibini SC; the Zambian Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya MP; the UNFPA Chief of Commodity Security Branch Dr. Gifty Addico; the UNFPA Zambia Representative Ms. Gift Malunga; and several Parliamentarians from European and African Countries affirmed progress towards Zambia’s commitments to the ICPD Programme of Action (PoA); as well as the critical need to invest in catalytic factors to further advance all the 5 Pillars of the ICPD.

Between Tuesday 25 June and Thursday 27 June 2019, the delegation is undertaking field visits to health facilities; youth programmes; and reproductive health supply facilities where the voices and representation of stakeholders, women, and young people will reaffirm the need to sustain national investments towards fulfilling the promise of ICPD in Zambia.