Tag Archives: Zambia

US Investments in South Africa and Zambia

In 2014, the United States Government (USG) spent an estimated $5.3 billion on foreign assistance funding for health worldwide. The vast majority of this – about $3.1 billion – went towards slowing the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Throughout the Southern Africa region, the USG also supports projects focused on water supply and sanitation, orphans and vulnerable children, tuberculosis, palliative care, the health workforce, and developing information sharing platforms for evidence-based decision-making and capacity development.  Recently, our study tour delegates got to sit down with USG representatives and local leaders to hear about the impact of US investments in health and see what this funding is achieving.

South Africa: Low, middle income country
South Africa is the second highest recipient of USG assistance for HIV/AIDS assistance worldwide, falling only slightly behind Kenya. Since 2004, PEPFAR has invested $4.2 billion in the South African response to the dual epidemics of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, and despite plans to decrease the level of aid going to South Africa, the amount spent has remained fairly steady over the past five years. Even with such significant US support, South Africa funds more than 80% of the budget for antiretroviral therapy and the majority of its own HIV/AIDS programs – spending more than $1 billion annually. In addition to supporting health service delivery, US investments in South Africa promoted greater sustainability of the health system through capacity building, leadership and civil society engagement.

Delegates are briefed by staff at the Trucking Wellness Center in Limpopo. Photo credit: Bright Phiri/MSH.

Delegates are briefed by staff at the Trucking Wellness Center in Limpopo. Photo credit: Bright Phiri/MSH.

Delegates saw this firsthand through their visit to the Corridor Empowerment Project’s Trucking Wellness Center, in Limpopo province. Truck drivers are at significantly higher risk for acquiring HIV, but making time for routine testing or treatment adherence is a challenge for on-the-go drivers. The delegates saw how one organization is addressing this issue by meeting the drivers where they are. The Corridor Empowerment Project participated in our Building Local Capacity in Southern Africa project and is now eligible for USG funding, which allows them to provide HIV testing and counseling through 22 roadside and mobile clinics.

Zambia: Moving out of debt into middle income status
US funding in Zambia also focuses heavily on HIV/AIDS, accounting for 75% of the $174 million in health assistance in 2014. In addition, health funding targets malaria, maternal and child health, family planning and reproductive health, nutrition, and water and sanitation. The US also supports governance, law and policy changes to support people living with HIV/AIDS. Our

Pharmaceutical supplies at a Medical Stores Limited center in Zambia. Photo credit: Zambia Daily Mail.

Pharmaceutical supplies at a Medical Stores Limited center in Zambia. Photo credit: Zambia Daily Mail.

delegates toured Medical Stores Limited (MSL), an autonomous government agency that stores, transports and distributes drugs and medical equipment throughout the country. Through US investment, MSH has helped Zambia build a robust supply chain for medications and equipment, which helps strengthen the overall health system and improves access to high quality essential medicines for people with both chronic and acute health needs.

US support of global health projects in Southern Africa has led to significant improvements in access to care and affordability of life-saving medications. Just as important, South Africa and Zambia now have the human and technological capacity to support and improve their own health systems through domestic resource mobilization and policy reform.

Recap: Day 6 – Friday, February 20

The delegates started their second day in Lusaka bright and early with a breakfast discussion with representatives from Zambian non-governmental organizations. The delegates learned about the work of local organizations in improving and expanding access to quality health services in Zambia.

Following the breakfast meeting, the delegates received a quick site visit briefing before departing for Liteta Hospital in Chibombo District, located in Zambia’s Central Province. Chimbobo District is one of Zambia’s largest districts and is about an hour outside of Lusaka. The delegates toured Liteta Hospital, where they got to see a rural, district-level hospital firsthand. While there, they learned about key challenges in health equity and service delivery at the district-level. The hospital staff shared how they address these challenges through improvements in pharmaceutical management, quality assurance, and capacity building of laboratories.

While in Central Province, the delegates also visited Medical Stores, Ltd. (MSL) before returning to Lusaka. The delegates toured the MSL facilities and learned about US-funded pharmaceutical strengthening efforts, from strengthening internal quality control practices to implementing standard operating procedures and improving patient access to essential medicines.

The delegates spent their last evening in Zambia meeting with the National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council (NAC) over dinner. NAC is a broad-based corporate body in Zambia comprised of government, private sector, and civil society representatives. The delegates learned how NAC coordinates, monitors, and evaluates inputs, outputs, and the impact of HIV/AIDS, STI, and TB programs and interventions in Zambia.

Stay tuned for our final recap as the delegates visit Chilenje Clinic and the Lilayi Elephant Nursery in Lusaka before departing Zambia to return to Washington, DC.