follow the Abuja decree on health

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Livingstone, June 12, 2014 , ZANIS——Community Development, Mother and Child Health Minister Emerine Kabanshi says the Patriotic Front government is committed to increasing the budgetary allocation for the health sector from the current levels towards 15 percent of the national budget in accordance with the Abuja Declaration.



Ms Kabanshi said government had made significant adjustments to ministries in a bid to address identified gaps in provision of health services.



“Recognizing the gap of health services provision in Zambia, the Patriotic Front Government has recently made substantial cabinet re-adjustments that have resulted in my ministry taking a lead in bringing healthcare close to the community,” she said.



Ms Kabanshi said this in Livingstone today during the official opening of the 8thAfrican Rotavirus Symposium at Zambezi Sun hotel, held under the theme: “Rotavirus Landscape in Africa-Towards Prevention and Control”.



She noted that active participation of the community in efforts to improve maternal and child health was the missing link in attainment of effective and efficient service delivery.



Ms Kabanshi said her ministry was paying a lot of attention to preventive activities against infectious diseases in the country.



She said the focus was to ensure that globally available vaccines were made accessible to children, with priority given to vaccine preventable diseases, “she said.



Ms Kabanshi stated that three lifesaving vaccines namely pneumococcal vaccine, second dose measles vaccine and rotavirus vaccine were introduced in the country.



“To achieve such an expansion of a national program in a single year is a great achievement for us and we are now working hard and allocating appropriate resources to ensure that no Zambian child dies from preventable diseases,” she said.



She said the attainment was as a result of ensuring the required cold chain infrastructure was in place, vaccines were ordered on time and their access guaranteed, especially for hard to reach families who are at greater risk.



Ms Kabanshi reiterated that government was fully engaged with research and health care provision and wanted to be progressive in terms of scientific endeavours.



The symposium has attracted participants from 29 countries and its objectives include reviewing of rotavirus research and sharing current global epidemiological trends  sharing experiences regarding introduction of rotavirus vaccines into the country and to enable networking for research, academia and career growth.