Remarks by Dr. Simon Agolory, Country Director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Remarks by Dr. Simon Agolory, Country Director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Donation of Equipment to Emergency Hospital
University Teaching Hospital, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
June 19, 2019

(as prepared for delivery)

Dr. Chitalu Chilufya, Minister of Health
Dr. Kennedy Malama, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health
Dr Alex Makupe, Director, Clinical Care and Diagnostic Services
Dr. Chipepo Kakansa, Director Pediatric Centre of Excellence
Dr. Charles Muntemba, Head Clinical Care Adult Hospital
Dr. Chiluba, Head of Department, Accidents and Emergencies
Dr. Godfrey Phiri, Clinical Head-Surgery, Accidents & Emergencies
Ms. Juliet Langa, Chief Nursing Officer
Members of the press
Ladies and Gentlemen
All other protocols observed

Good morning.  I am delighted to be here with all of you at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) during these challenging times.  The U.S. government continues to support Zambia through our COVID-19 response, including surveillance, case management, health informatics, laboratory services and communications.

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, the U.S. government is committed to ensuring that Zambians continue to receive health services, including HIV testing and counseling that reaches over one million Zambians living with the disease.  We must ensure the country’s people remain healthy and continue taking their medicine in a safe and secure environment.

For nearly two decades, the U.S. government has supported Zambia’s goal of reducing the impact of HIV and achieving an AIDS-free generation.  When the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) started in 2003, over 70,000 Zambians were dying annually from HIV each year.  Thanks to strong partnership, PEPFAR has helped reduced this number to 17,000 in 2018.  While one death is one too many, the $4 billion in U.S. government assistance has immensely contributed to Zambia’s progress against HIV.  We are closer than ever to productively controlling this epidemic.

While HIV/AIDS remains the leading cause of death in Zambia and deserves our full attention, we also know that injuries, many from road traffic accidents, are a major cause of mortality for Zambians.

Today, I am pleased to make this donation, on behalf of the U.S. government, of emergency medical equipment to the Surgery, Accidents and Emergencies Unit at the University Teaching Hospital-Adult Hospital.  This equipment, such as a mobile x-ray, battery operated monitor, blood and fluid warmer, blood gas analyzer, infusion pumps, blood chemistry analyzer, pelvic stabilization equipment , pediatric spinal mobilization board, ECG battery operated monitor, among others, valued at almost K10.2 million ($600,000), will help reduce morbidity and mortality of emergency cases.  This gesture symbolizes the commitment of the American people to improving the health of Zambians.

As the cases of COVID-19 in Zambia continue to rise, it is important to remember simple things we can do to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.  Remember to keep washing your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, don’t touch your face with unwashed hands, cough and sneeze into a tissue paper or your flexed elbow, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.  If you become ill, please limit contact with other persons to minimize their exposure.  Of course, wear a mask when out in public, and lastly, seek care from a health professional when you become sick.  If you suspect you have COVID-19, immediately seek medical attention.

Thank you.  Stay strong, stay safe, and stay healthy.  May God bless the United States of America and Zambia.