Lusaka — As Prepared for Delivery
I want to thank the Zambia National Public Health Institute for the opportunity to see your investments in public health and pandemic preparedness firsthand.
I would also like to express my appreciation for ZNPHI’s partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to train front-line epidemiologists, who are often the first to detect and respond to disease outbreaks.
And, I welcome the deepening of this partnership and the new cooperative agreement between our countries that will help ZNPHI grow its national and regional health security role, including through the launch of a new Emergency Operations Center. Centers like this serve as hubs for better coordinating the preparation, response, and recovery for public health emergencies, and play an important role in early warning systems to help detect and stop outbreaks.
Health security has been a key pillar of the partnership between Zambia and the United States over the past two decades, primarily through PEPFAR and the Government of Zambia’s investments in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Today, we continue to broaden that partnership.
It is important to sustainably finance our public health institutions since the cost of preparedness pales in comparison to the human and economic cost of future health threats. We all saw this first-hand with COVID-19.
The United States remains committed to the work of improving regional and global health security, as is evidenced by our $450 million contribution to the newly launched Pandemic Fund. This Fund will catalyze investments to fill critical gaps in pandemic preparedness and bolster overall health security.
I encourage Zambia and all eligible countries to look for the Fund’s first call for proposals in the coming weeks and to work with their health partners to apply for financing to continue strengthening pandemic preparedness at the national, regional, and global levels.
Today we will also see a facility from a U.S. firm that has invested here in Zambia to help distribute anti-malarials and HIV anti-retrovirals, while creating local jobs.
I believe this is a good illustration of how we can work together to deepen our economic ties and tackle global challenges.