The World Health Organization Country Office and the Ministry of Health conduct a joint meeting to chart the way forward on accelerating Zambia’s transition towards Universal Health Coverage 2030

Senior officials from the Ministry of Health, Central hospitals, University Teaching Hospitals, statutory bodies and National Professional Officers from WHO in Siavonga at the Universal Health Coverage meeting Senior officials from the Ministry of Health, Central hospitals, University Teaching Hospitals, statutory bodies and National Professional Officers from WHO in Siavonga at the Universal Health Coverage meeting

Lusaka, 12 April 2017 - The World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health conducted a joint meeting for orientation of senior officials from the Ministry of Health, central hospitals, University Teaching Hospitals, statutory bodies and National Professional Officers from WHO on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The meeting also served as a forum to chart the way forward on Zambia’s transition towards Universal Health Coverage in line with the target in the Sustainable Development Goals agenda for 2030 and guidelines of the International Health Partnership for UHC 2030 (UHC 2030). The meeting also allowed WHO to provide orientation on the key areas in the WHO Third generation Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS), which is the blueprint for WHO’s support to the country and to give guidance on WHO’s business rules.

The two days meeting which was held in Siavonga from 11-12 April brought together a total of  38 participants who included directors from the Ministry of Health, senior officers from the Ministry of Health, senior medical superintendents from hospitals, specialist medical officers from the University Teaching Hospital, directors of Zambia Medicines and Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA),  National AIDS Council (NAC) and Zambia National Blood Transfusion Services (ZNBTS). National professional officers from WHO for disease prevention and control, gender, HIV/TB, health promotion, managerial processes and networks,  laboratory scientist, logistics, Mhealth Project, nutrition and staff from the WHO CSU were among the participants in attendance.

In his opening remarks, the WHO Representative, Dr. Jacob Mufunda said that Universal Health Coverage was based on the principle that all individuals and communities should receive quality health services they need without suffering financial hardship. He emphasized that it was important for the country to move towards a system that was funded predominantly from public sources. He reiterated the need for Zambia’s new IHP Compact to embrace the new focus on integration with the SDGs agenda in line with the goals of the International Health Partnership for UHC 2030 which was established in 2016 to support a move for accelerated, equitable and sustainable progress towards UHC as well as the other SDGs. Dr. Mufunda  also used this forum to emphasize the importance of the Third generation WHO’s CCS 2017 to 2021,  and the need to align it with the national health strategies. He also emphasized the functions of  WHO and highlighted the Transformation Agenda for the WHO African Region whose aim was to make the organisation more results oriented, efficient and transparent.

In his statement to officially open the meeting, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Health Services, Dr. Jabbin Mulwanda in his speech read on his behalf by Dr. Kennedy Malama, Director, Health Promotion, Environmental and Social Determinants said that achieving UHC was in line with the country’s vision of providing equity of access to quality and affordable health services to all Zambians regardless of social status and geographical location. He said that the country’s resources fell short of  what was required to meet all needs due to the high cost of new medicines and technologies and that there was urgent need to establish a social health insurance scheme in order to provide a  more sustainable way of financing the health sector besides the national budget. Dr. Mulwanda added that Government was going to support the move towards UHC through a common basket, one plan, one budget and one monitoring and evaluation framework because this was a good way to minimize inequalities. “ UHC  based on Primary Health Care is a foundation for achieving other health goals and a real measure of how well sustainable development is progressing”  he said.

The presentations were made on the following topics: Universal Health Coverage 2030; An approach to prioritizing health system investment towards UHC and SDGs; health systems strengthening for attainment of Universal Health Coverage and SDGs, an action framework by WHO; The health SDGs and Africa’s health systems; Inter-sectoral collaboration in SDGs; Sustainable Development Goals and implications for health; WHO Country Cooperation Strategy and WHO business rules with a focus on the Direct Financial Contribution (DFC). There was also a discussion  on the illustrative interventions for the priority areas in the WHO CCS which allowed the participants to provide additional areas which needed to be included in the document.

 Moving forward on the UHC agenda, Zambia will take the opportunities for change provided through the International Health Partnership for UHC 2030 (UHC 2030)  by strengthening health system platforms at country level through effective implementation of the IHP+ principle, having a strong commitment to country ownership including multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral coordination of health system strengthening. There will also be need to adapt the IHP+ Global Compact to reflect a focus on health systems toward UHC for equity and health security in the context of the SDGs and applicable to all stakeholders. The country will use the one single country health strategy, one single results framework and one budget process, IHP+ tools and the UHC 2030 accountability framework.

The meeting was facilitated by Dr. Jacob Mufunda, WHO Representative, Dr. Kennedy Malama, Director, Health Promotion Environmental and Social Determinants, Ministry of Health, Mr. Solomon Kagulura, National Professional Officer, Managerial Processes and Networks, WHO and Mr. Amadeus Mukobe, Chief Planner, Ministry of Health and Mr. Terence Siansalama, Principal planner, Ministry of Health. 

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For More Information Contact :

Nora Mweemba, Health Information and Promotion Officer, WHO, Tel: 255322 /255336, 255398, E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Mr. Solomon Kagulura, Managerial Processes and Networks, WHO, Tel: 255322 /255336, 255398, E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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