World Bank to increase funding to health project

By Staff Reporter

The World Bank has announced an increased funding to the Health Systems Strengthening Project.

World Bank Task Team Leader for Zambia Health Service Improvement Project Dr. Rosemary Sunkuntu said this in a presentation during the Ministry of Health Annual Consultative Meeting held in Lusaka yesterday.

Dr. Sunkuntu said the Bank was considering additional funding because of the positive performance of the project.

“The US$67 million Health System Strengthening Project which started in 2015, was scheduled to end on June 30th this year but the World Bank has extended by one year,” she said.

She explained that the project among many things looks at increasing numbers of nurses and midwives, improving the drug supply chain and community health.

“The World Bank intends to continue doing that, one of the areas I think which has been identified by the cooperating partners is to ensure that we improve efficiency and equitable access to service delivery at primary health care level that is one area which the World Bank is going to ensure that it continues supporting,” she said.

Dr. Sunkuntu said the Bank will soon begin discussions in terms of what form of support to the primary health care with the Ministry of Health.

“We just completed the Public Expenditure review and Quality of Service review delivery. We are confident that the World Bank will take up some of the aspects in terms of ensuring that they plough back, ensuring we strengthen the systems to achieve Universal Health care Coverage,” she said.

Dr. Sunkuntu reaffirmed that the World Bank would continue supporting the regional TB Project.
She said the World Bank would also support the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), strengthening systems to control infectious diseases.

Dr. Sunkuntu said the support would go to the Africa CDC and also the regional collaborating centers with Ethiopia and Zambia being the initial countries to be considered.

“The process of preparation of the Project has started and we are discussing with the Zambia National Public Health Institute in terms of ensuring that we support the control of infectious diseases through the one health agenda,” she said.