President Edgar Lungu says Zambia has made strides in reducing morbidity and mortality in under-five children in the last 20 years.
Speaking when he participated in a virtue Global Vaccine Summit with 35 other Heads of states and governments, hosted by the United Kingdom, President Lungu disclosed that the morbidity and mortality in under-five children has reduced from 168 per 1000 live births in 2001 to 61 per 1000 live births.
This is according to the latest Zambia demographic and health survey of 2018, the Republican President said.
The President Lungu acknowledged that Gavi Vaccine Alliance has continued to render support to the country since 2001 thereby contributing to an increase in the number of vaccines administered to children.
He stated that through the international organisation’s support, government has been able to deliver vaccines even to rural remote parts of the country so that children in these areas can have access.
“Gavi has supported Zambia in health systems in our quest to attain universal health coverage. The support includes delivery of vaccines to remote and hard to reach parts of the country where our children would have been left behind without this help.
“With Gavi’s support, outbreaks related to vaccine preventable diseases in Zambia have been averted, and many children’s lives saved,” President Lungu indicated.
The Head of state showed optimism to continue collaboration and partnership with Gavi Vaccine Alliance for the country to build on its health and social gains achieved so far.
President Lungu further expressed gratitude to various stakeholders who have partnered with Gavi in ensuring that access to immunization in poor countries is improved.
“We are also deeply grateful to all bilateral and multilateral partners, institutions, philanthropists as well as nations of good will, who continue to contribute financially, materially, technically and logistically to the work of Gavi.
“We greatly appreciate and value the life changing partnership with Gavi, the vaccine Alliance,” he stressed.
The 2020 Global Gavi Summit opened yesterday and was held to secure funding for the Alliance of about 7.4 billion United States Dollars (USD) for immunization programmes of 300 million children in the world’s poorest countries by 2020.
This was contained in a statement availed to ZANIS in Lusaka, by Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations, Isaac Chipampe.