July 11, 2014
On Friday 11th July, 2014, the Honorable Minister of Health, Hon. Joseph Kasonde launched the Project for the Upgrading of Lusaka Health Centres to District Hospitals. The ground breaking ceremony took place at Matero Reference Health Centre. The launch was well attended and included the presence of; Member of Parliament for Matero Constituency, Japanese Ambassador to Zambia, Directors from the Ministry of Health, JICA Resident Representative, Provincial Health Officers, JICA Zambia Office Staff, Matero Residents and, last but not least, the media.
The health centres to be upgraded are Matero Reference Health Centre and Chilenje Health Centre. These health centres will be strengthened and upgraded to District Hospitals. This will improve health care and access for Lusaka residents and reduce congestion at the University Teaching Hospital thereby allowing it to function as a top referral and educational hospital.
The launch was a very momentous occasion as it meant that pregnant women can now deliver their babies by Cesarean Section near home. This is line with the Ministry of Health's policy of delivering health services as close to the family as possible.
At the same launch, Honorable Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Matero Constituency laid bricks as part of the ground breaking ceremony. Speeches were also given by the Japanese Ambassador and the Minister of Health. Sketches and dances were performed by a drama group. In the speeches, patients and health workers were advised to have a cordial relationship so as to avoid violence and harassment. The sketches emphasized the need to prevent theft of building materials during the construction of the hospitals and avoid vandalism once the hospitals have been constructed. Residents were encouraged to be responsible for the maintenance of the Hospitals.
JICA is happy to support the Government in ensuring that the people of Zambia have access to health care. In alignment with Zambia's development Programmes and policies, JICA will continue to prioritize health as this will accelerate the overall social and economic development of the country.
Speech from Japanese Ambassador