“All people especially the reproductive age groups are prematurely dying from preventable communicable and non-communicable diseases due to delays in accessing health services. This situation calls for an urgent need for us to be innovative and take health services closer to where our people are be it to households or indeed other settings such as markets and bus stations. I will wish to direct the Minister of Health to ensure that more community health centres are opened specifically to enable men and young men access health services as they are reluctant to seek health services until it’s late. Today we continue experiencing men presenting at clinics and hospitals with advanced communicable and non-communicable disease, we cannot allow this to continue”.
Republic President, Edgar Lungu said this when he launched the New Soweto Market, Michael Chilufya Sata Market, and Inter City Bus Terminus Community Health Initiative that will benefit more than 25,000 people who conduct business at these market.
The Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia with support from United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnered with the Ministry of Health and Zambian Ambassadors of Community Health Initiative (ZACHI) to set up three prefabricated clinics, one at Intercity Bus Terminus, and two at Michael Chilufya Sata Market to be used as community health clinics.
CIDRZ further provide medical equipment for New Soweto Market Clinic.
And President Lungu said, “I am delighted and honoured to launch the community health initiative today which is the first of its kind in Zambia. Government continues to recognize that good health and wellbeing is a key investment for our country’s social and economic development. We cannot address social economic development and empowerment issues without ensuring the healthy population which anchors productivity across all sectors of our economy.
“This is why as government we have embarked on a transformation agenda of attaining universal health coverage using an integrated community based primary health care approach, therefore today’s launch of the market community health initiative is a clear testimony of this. Today 23% of all deaths in Zambia, are due to preventable non-communicable diseases and this has to be curtailed”.
“This market community health initiative being launched today will provide a contemporary model of basing health service provision across the continuum of care in community settings such as markets and bus stations among others leaving no one behind. This initiative is aimed at serving our citizens who might be facing difficulties in accessing promoted, preventive and basic curative health services because of their busy schedules as a result of their engagement in various economic activities.
“It is for this reason that we have come up with an initiative to create an opportunity for traders, shoppers and marketeers and all those in the congregate settings to easily access health services at their convenience. To this effect, I will direct the Minister of Health, Minister of Local Government and Minister of Infrastructure and Housing to expedite the establishment of community health facilities at all big markets and bus stations country wide”, President Lungu added.
And Zambian Ambassadors of Community Health Initiative (ZACHI) Secretary General Pascal Chikumbi said, “many times marketeers do collapse and drop dead from communicable and non-communicable within markets and bus stations due to lack of primary health facilities especially hypertension, diabetes, malaria because to them a minute lost is a minute lost in their earning cash. This initiative launched today will supplement the enhancement of the health of the people in markets and bus stations”.