By Hope Bwalya
Swedish Ambassador to Zambia Johan Hallenborg has pledged his Government’s continued support to Zambia’s health sector.
Ambassador Hallenborg observed that Zambia’s health system is founded on the provision of quality, equitable healthcare services to all.
He mentioned that Sweden is committed to ensuring the Ministry of Health in Zambia provides equitable quality healthcare services to its people.
“Overall in the health sector, it is to provide equitable health to everyone so that everyone has the same access to health services. That remains the foundation of the support to the health sector,” he said.
The Swedish envoy made the pledge when he recently toured Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) funded projects at St Francis Central Hospital in Katete District of Eastern Province.
Mr Hallenborg noted that Sweden and Zambia have collaborated on development for a long time already since 1965 so it has been a long process that the Swedish Government will continue to do.
“So in the health sector, I strongly believe that we will continue to focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and also maternal health, child health and adolescence,” he said.
And St Francis Central Hospital Senior Medical Superintendent Lalick Banda shared some of the major improvements that the institution has witnessed since the coming of the support from the Swedish Government.
“This hospital is old, it is 75 years old and the infrastructure is dilapidated. However, we have seen a facelift in the areas where maternal and child health services are being provided,” Dr Banda said.
Other than infrastructure development and expansion, Dr Banda said that maternal health indicators had also improved, stating that there had been a reduction in maternal mortality.
“We have seen a reduction in maternal mortality but also prenatal mortality that is from 22 percent in quarter one of 2022 to 11 percent in quarter four of 2022, that is a significant reduction even though we are recording higher admissions,” he added.
PICTURE 1: Swedish Ambassador to Zambia Johan Hallenborg and his Wife listen to St Francis Central Hospital Senior Medical Superintendent, Dr Lalick Banda, explaining the operations of the neonatal unit at the facility
PICTURE 2: Swedish Ambassador to Zambia Johan Hallenborg, his Wife and UNICEF Health Specialist Dr Apurva Chaturvedi listen to St Francis Central Hospital Senior Medical Superintendent, Dr Lalick Banda during the tour of the facility