On 11th November 2011, the Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Zambia, H.E Mr. Akio Egawa, officially opened the X-Ray Building and Laboratory at the Bauleni Health Centre. The construction of these facilities and the provision of equipment were implemented by the Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association with funding made available under the Government of Japan’s Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Project.

Since 2008, The Project for TB/HIV Community DOTS with People-Centered Approach in Zambia has been funded by the Government of Japan, with the total assistance so far provided amounting to approximately 1.49 million United States dollars, and implemented by Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association (JATA) in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Lusaka District Health Management Team, stakeholders and other partners.

Over the years, JATA has successfully established the Active Case Finding Management Center in Bauleni Compound and provided TB diagnostic and HIV/AIDS counseling and testing services. TB volunteers were trained to give treatment support, awareness-raising, and health education. For TB diagnosis, JATA introduced X-ray examination, which had not been available in Bauleni Compound before. JATA’s activities have made TB- and HIV/AIDS-related health services more accessible for the community, thereby contributing to early case finding and better treatment support.

This year, as the Project draws to a close, JATA has handed over the TB diagnostic function and treatment support system to the Bauleni Health Center. Now the newly-constructed X-ray building is housing the X-ray machine, and the new laboratory is open with equipment for sputum smear examination. The facilities and equipment have been functioning well since they were handed over to the Health Center on 1 September, 2011. JATA and all the stakeholders will continue working together to further strengthen the existing TB diagnostic and treatment system in order for the community to sustain the project.

This has been a year of extraordinary challenges for Japan. It was on March 11 that the Great East Japan Earthquake struck Japan. Nearly 20,000 people were killed or remain missing, and more than 70,000 evacuees still continue to endure inconvenience in their daily lives. The physical damage caused by the earthquake and tsunami were almost beyond description, with many cities, towns and villages instantly destroyed and wiped out.

However, the Japanese nation is now all united together and we are now on a steady path towards recovery and reconstruction. Japan would like to express sincere gratitude for the kind sympathy shown by numerous organisations and individuals in Zambia. Despite the disaster, the Government of Japan remains committed to cooperating with the Government of the Republic of Zambia for the economic and social development of Zambia. Japan will work closely together with the new Zambian Government for that purpose.

Finally, it is hoped that the facilities which have been officially opened will be well utilized and maintained in order to have a positive long-lasting impact on the health conditions of the residents in Bauleni. It is also hoped that this successful project will contribute to the further strengthening of the cordial relations which exist between Japan and Zambia.


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