April 24, 2013 7:39 am
Government says the requirement for Zambians to show proof of valid yellow fever vaccinations before entering into other countries has economic and political implications.
Health Permanent Secretary Dr Peter Mwaba says the designation of Zambia being a low risk yellow fever country was based on the sero-prevalence surveys conducted between 1940 and 1950.
He said it is for this reason that World Health Organization (WHO) is giving both financial and technical support to Ministry of Health to carry out a yellow fever assessment.
The Health Permanent Secretary said this in a speech read on his behalf by Copperbelt Province Medical Officer Dr Changwe Ngandwe.
This was during the official opening of a Risk Assessment of Yellow Fever training for North-western and Western provinces held at Sankananji Lodge in Ndola yesterday.
Dr Mwaba said the yellow fever assessment is also important as Zambia prepares to co-host the United Nations World Trade Conference (UNWTO) in August 2013 especially that Zambia is borders with countries that are established yellow fever endemic.
He said government therefore attaches great importance not only to the final outcome of the assessment but also the process by which the outcome is going to be derived, adding that if the process is flawed the findings will not be credible.
He urged the participants to take the training seriously and to be determined to be professional in the conduct of the survey.
And speaking at the same function, WHO country officer for Disease Prevention and Control Dr Peter Songolo said over 120 000 US dollars has been put into the program.
Dr Songolo said the role of WHO was to support the country to conduct a risk assessment in areas where yellow fever was reported.
He said the active assessment survey of yellow fever is being conducted in areas where yellow fever was reported in the past and that about 70 000 us dollars have so far been spent.