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On 17 June 2013, H. E. Mr. Akio Egawa, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Zambia and Hon. Alexander Chikwanada, MP, Minister of Finance, signed an Exchange of Notes for Grant Aid for the Project for Upgrading Lusaka Health Centres to District Hospitals. The Government of Japan is providing to the Government of the Republic of Zambia grant aid of 19.08 billion Japanese Yen, or approximately 19 million US Dollars, for the Project.


The aim of the Project is to improve and upgrade Matero and Chilenje Urban Health Centres (UHC) to District Hospitals. The Project includes construction of General Outpatient Ward, Maternity Ward, Paediatric Ward and other facilities at the two institutions. In addition, medical equipment and skills transfer in the operation and maintenance of the medical equipment will be provided under the Project.


The upgrading of the two health centres will significantly improve health and medical services for the 430,000 large populations in Matero and Chilenje communities.


It has been pointed out that the lack of primary- or secondary-level hospitals in Lusaka has been causing too much burden on the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), the leading central hospital in charge of tertiary-level medical services. Currently, patients from the health centres needing caesarean section, for instance, are directly referred to UTH. Accordingly, UTH has to serve as a primary-level hospital for Lusaka in addition to its role as the top referral hospital, creating an undesirable overcrowding at UTH.


Upon implementation of the Project, Matero and Chilenje District Hospitals together will have the capacity to perform over 740 caesarean sections by 2018. This will translate into a 21% reduction of patients directly referred to UTH, thereby helping UTH to re-establish its position as the top referral hospital.


Japan has placed emphasis on technology transfer and human resources development in the delivery of its development cooperation so that self-help development efforts by its partner countries will be strengthened. Under this Project, a team of Japanese experts will come and work together with medical and technical staff of the two new District Hospitals for skills transfer in the operation and maintenance of the medical equipment to be provided.


It is hoped that this Project will promote the attainment of quality health for all Zambians, thereby enhancing economic and social development of the country, and also further strengthen the friendship and cooperation between Japan and the Republic of Zambia.


To read the speech by Ambassador Egawa, please click here.