April 9, 2015 | Contact: Janet Deutsch, Public Affairs Officer, Phone: 357000
LUSAKA – United States Ambassador to Zambia Eric Schultz this week visited Southern Province to promote U.S. government-funded health, wildlife, and other programs.
U.S. Support for Zambian Health Programs
In the last ten years, the United States has provided more than $2 billion to the Zambian health sector alone, most of it focusing on Zambia’s national HIV response through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Additional support has gone into the fight against malaria, tuberculosis, maternal and infant mortality, and other health challenges.
Speaking when he toured the Livingstone General Hospital where the United States funds extensive interventions, especially around HIV and AIDS, Ambassador Schultz said, ‘’Through the HIV pediatric program alone, we have saved the lives of more than 3,000 children enrolled in care and treatment.” The United States also supports the hospital’s main laboratory, its entire Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) program, its HIV /AIDS testing and counseling center, and facilities for the early diagnosis and treatment of infants with HIV. To mitigate the transmission of HIV infection, the United States assists the hospital’s male circumcision clinic and a successful blood bank safety program. In addition, the United States supports the hospital’s cervical cancer clinic and constructed and equipped an inpatient pediatric ward.
While in Choma, Ambassador Schultz handed over three vehicles to the Southern Province Medical Office on behalf of Saving Mothers Giving Life, a program partly funding by the U.S. government and that boasts a 35 percent reduction in facility-based maternal mortality in areas where the program operates.
U.S. Support for Zambia’s National Heritage and Tourism
While in Livingstone, Ambassador Schultz visited the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park where he reiterated the United States government’s commitment to help Zambia protect wildlife and natural heritage. Ambassador Schultz gave the example of Zambia’s unique responsibility as a home to the endangered white rhino. At Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, the United States government supported white rhino monitoring through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID’s) Sustainable Conservation Approaches in Priority Ecosystems Support to the African Wildlife Foundation. Ambassador Schultz stated that, “Even though Mosi-oa-Tunya Park’s white rhino population has increased from one in 2007 to eight presently, there is still a lot more to be done to reduce the demand for rhino horns and elephant tusks that fuels the poaching of Zambia’s wildlife.
Speaking at the entrance of Zambia’s natural wonder, Victoria Falls, Ambassador Schultz said that Zambia could build a world class tourism industry anchored by Victoria Falls and the parks, which offered some of the best safaris and game viewing in Africa. “Tourism would then employ hundreds of thousands of Zambians, to service millions of foreign tourists,” he said.
Supporting Youth Leadership through the Mandela Washington Fellowship Program
While Ambassador Schultz was on his Southern Province visit, he met two of the 2014 Mandela Washington Fellows who are based in the province. In Mazabuka, Ambassador Schultz commended Ms. Mutibo Chijikwa who continues to be a leader in agriculture development in her area. At Victoria Falls, Ambassador Schultz met and praised the work of Mr. Charlene Bangwe who promotes access to education in Livingstone.