LUSAKA, Zambia — A United States Agency for International Development (USAID) delegation of senior officials visited Zambia this past week to view firsthand the impact of U.S. government-supported COVID-19 vaccination initiatives. Aligned with the relaunch of Zambia’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign, which aims to vaccinate 70 percent of the population, the visit provided the four-person delegation the opportunity to meet with local leaders, health workers, and others to better understand the successes and challenges of achieving Zambia’s vaccination objectives.
The delegation, which included Jeremy Konyndyk, Executive Director of USAID’s COVID-19 Task Force, arrived in Zambia after a successful visit to Tanzania. While in Zambia, the delegation traveled with President Hichilema’s COVID-19 Advisor, Prof. Roma Chilengi, to Ndola to meet with key leaders and community members and see community vaccination efforts. The delegation also toured the Centre for Infectious Disease Research Zambia (CIDRZ) to see Zambia’s COVID-19 response efforts firsthand.
The delegation participated in vaccination outreach and learned more about the strong relationship among Zambia’s Ministry of Health, Lusaka and Copperbelt Provincial and District Health Offices, health workers, local leaders, and community partners that are working together to get COVID-19 shots in arms in Zambia.
The visit followed the recent announcement that Zambia is one of 11 countries to receive surge COVID-19 funding through the United States Initiative for Global Vaccine Access (Global VAX). As part of Global VAX, USAID is programming an additional $28 million in funding for Zambia that will support planning and coordination, community engagement, laboratory support, and more. The U.S. government, through Global VAX, will support the Zambian Ministry of Health’s existing vaccination plans at provincial and district levels to bring COVID-19 vaccines to people quickly and equitably, prioritizing those who are most vulnerable.
Jeremy Konyndyk (left), Executive Director of the COVID-19 Task Force.