PRESS STATEMENT ON APPROVAL OF WORLD BANK SUPPORT FOR THE AFRICA CDC REGIONAL INVESTMENT FINANCING PROJECT (ACDCP)
(Lusaka Wednesday, 11 December 2019)- Government has commended the World Bank for approving funding to support the Africa Center for Disease Control Regional Investment Financing Project (ACDCP) aimed at enhancing public health security.
The World Bank has provided US$250 million to Zambia, Ethiopia and the African Union to counter the spread of infectious diseases and address key regional and continental public health issues. Zambia has been allocated US$90 million from the total allocation
Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya says the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Regional Investment Financing Project will strengthen disease surveillance, prevention, and emergency-response systems in Zambia and across African.
He says the project will finance the establishment of laboratories, transnational surveillance networks, emergency-response mechanisms, and other public health assets designed to manage diseases on a regional and continental scale.
“Today I am pleased to inform the nation of a historic milestone in our quest to strengthen the country’s public health security. The funding has been approved because the confidence our partners have in the impeccable stewardship of His Excellency, Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia. I would also like to thank the President for facilitating this strategic investment,” Dr. Chilufya says
Dr. Chilufya explained that the Zambian component of the project will strengthen the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI), the disease intelligence wing of the Ministry of Health.
The ZNPHI is an Agency mandated to preserve Public Health Security through surveillance and disease intelligence, emergency preparedness and response, specialized laboratory capabilities, development of a resilient public health workforce, and generation and management of evidence to inform policy and programs.
The ACDCP will support the ZNPHI with both physical infrastructure and technical capabilities which will includes construction, equipping, and staffing of a Biosafety Level 3 National Public Health Reference Laboratory and Office Complex that will serve as a Centre of Excellence for the entire Southern Africa region.
The laboratory will provide in-country containment facilities and advanced capacity that will greatly expand Zambia’s test profile. This will enable the country to promptly diagnose a wide range of germs and other disease-causing agents.
Other capabilities will include advanced capacity for environmental testing, water and food quality monitoring, toxicology, and testing for animal diseases.
The complex will also include a Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC), which will serve as the coordination hub for efficient response and management of public health emergencies.
The PHEOC will interconnect and link to all districts within the country, and to Member States within Southern Africa for enhanced communication and coordinated responses.
Another feature of the complex will be office space to house both the ZNPHI functions and those of the Africa CDC Southern Africa Regional Collaborating Centre (SA-RCC), which Zambia is privileged to host.
Additionally, the facility will provide facilities for training in various specialist science and public health fields for the country and region.
Dr. Abel Kabalo
Ministry of Health