Government will need over K29 million to implement its yellow fever vaccination campaign, an official has said.
Ministry of Health Clinical Specialist, Dr. Callistus Kaayunga, said that K29, 616, 695 would be required to vaccinate millions of Zambians against the yellow fever outbreak in neighboring Angola.
This was outlined at the Sector Advisory Group meeting, where the Ministry met with cooperating partners to discuss the progress on the sixth national development plan.
Dr. Kaayunga said the mosquito-transmitted disease presented an immediate threat, and that vaccinations would mostly target North-western and Western Zambians which were nearer to the border.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Peter Mwaba commended the progress that has been made in the fight against cholera, malaria and yellow fever, while acknowledging that there was still more work to do.
“The things that we have achieved or failed to achieve should be put in the context of the national economy,” Dr. Mwaba said.
He said between 2011 and 2015, when the sixth national development plan was undertaken, the Kwacha had fluctuated, making it difficult to implement various programs.
Dr. Mwaba further explained that the effects of global warming – specifically the El Nino effect – have caused a resurgence of water and mosquito-borne diseases.
He commended the work that had been done in Eastern Province, as cases of malaria have reduced by almost 50 percent.
However, Muchinga and Luapula have been recording increased malaria cases, to which the PS said that all treatable diseases must be prevented.
The PS announced that 39 new hospitals were under construction, while three Bills related to mental health, food safety and social protection had been completed and sent to the Ministry of Justice for scrutiny.