18 July 2012

Zambia: Health Ministry Faces Accountability Challenge - Kasonde

ACCOUNTABILITY is still a challenge in the health sector and needs community participation for the Government to deliver better health services, Health Minister Joseph Kasonde has said.

Dr Kasonde said the ministry was faced with a challenge of accountability of essential medicines in public facilities.

He said members of the community should assist to safeguard huge investments that the Government was making for the country to benefit.

The minister was speaking at the Ministry of Health second quarter of 2012 briefing in Lusaka yesterday.

Dr Kasonde said the sector managed to carry out most of its planned activities and with the increased and resumed funding from the Swedish government and the Global Fund, it was envisioned that most of the activities would be achieved this year.

The ministry has started receiving the recently procured essential medicines and medical supplies worth about K35 billion for distribution to all health facilities countrywide.

Laboratory equipment and reagents worth about K47 billion under round eight HIV grant with support from the Global Fund has been received.

"The ministry has also procured tuberculosis (TB) medicines worth about K12.5 billion and K1.5 billion for second line and first line treatment respectively and these drugs have already started arriving in the country," he said.

The Government has embarked on a programme to rehabilitate mental health units across the country.

Dr Kasonde said the ministry has given Livingstone General and Ndola Central hospitals about K500 and K700 million respectively for the rehabilitation of infrastructure for mental health patients.

The programme would be rolled out to other hospitals that are providing mental health services.

On mobile and emergency services, Dr Kasonde said the second quarter had seen an increase in clients attended to through the mobile outreach.

"During the second quarter, the mobile outreach attended to 58, 606 clients and a total of 4, 201 operations were conducted as compared to the first quarter in which 34, 571 clients were attended to with 1, 871 operations," he said.

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