Lusaka. March 6, 2014.
Lusaka – The United States is committed to working with the government and people of Zambia to improve health care for Zambians. On March 6, the Government of the United States, through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), officially handed over four vehicles to the Ministry of Health’s nursing and midwifery training institutions. The PEPFAR program known as the Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI) supports the Monze and Lusaka Schools of Nursing and Midwifery and the Department of Nursing Sciences (DNS) at the School of Medicine.
Representing the U.S. government, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Country Director Dr. Lawrence Marum presented the vehicles to Ministry of Health officials. The three buses and one utility vehicle, with a total value of 1,900,000 Kwacha ($335,000), will enable nursing students to access critical clinical experiences to ensure that they are trained as competent health care providers. Dr. Marum said, “Increasing the number of nurses and midwives in Zambia is critical to improve the health of Zambians. We are confident that these vehicles will help three of Zambia’s nursing programs respond to the challenge to increase the numbers of students and improve the quality of nursing education.” This support is one part of the U.S. government’s overall assistance to the national fight against HIV/AIDS on behalf of the people of the United States through PEPFAR.
NEPI activities began in Zambia in 2010 and are supported by PEPFAR with technical assistance from the NEPI Coordinating Centre at Columbia University International Centre for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP), Nurse Capacity Initiative (INCI). Zambia is one of five countries that participate in NEPI centrally funded initiative. Other countries include: Malawi, Lesotho, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Through programs like NEPI, the U.S Government, through PEPFAR, continues its partnership with Zambia to continue progress toward an AIDS-free generation.