African First Ladies should prioritise health workers

ZAMBIA’S President on Tuesday urged African First Ladies to promote the prioritisation of human capital in the health sector.

President Edgar Lungu said this during the 8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia luminary virtual conference, 2021, hosted by his country and co-chaired by Zambian First lady Mrs Esther Lungu, in partnership with the Merck Foundation. Zambia is one of the Southern African countries that is promoting the development of health professionals.

“To all the first ladies in Africa who are actively involved with the Merck Foundation, I urge you to continue prioritising human capital development through various capacity-building programmes which are aimed at supporting the work of the ministries of health in our respective countries.

“Madam First Ladies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, as you all know, we were supposed to welcome you all to Zambia, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic we could not conduct this important conference physically,” said President Lungu.

“This will help us to see how we can improve the lives of our people in line with the United Nations (UN) agenda 2030 on sustainable development. As we do this, let us not forget that the Covid-19 pandemic is real and we all need to adhere to the public health guidelines provided by our health experts in our various countries.

“As the population of Africa grows to almost 1,4 billion people, I urge African leaders and all of you to focus on building our healthcare capacity and train more and more healthcare providers in various specialties to keep the African population healthy and productive,” he said.

Zambia First Lady Mrs Lungu lauded the Merck Foundation CEO Senator Dr Rasha Kelej for her ,”tireless efforts in

also ensuring that the Africa-Asia Luminary continues to build on the gains

made to boost human capital development and the saving of lives in

Africa and Asia.”

In her presentation, Amai Mnangagwa described as valuable, the country’s partnership with Merck Foundation which has advanced healthcare capacity.
“I would like to take this opportunity to greatly acknowledge the valuable partnership that we have with Merck Foundation and to be the ‘Merck More Than a Mother Ambassador’. And to advance the Healthcare Capacity in my country, for the first time in Zimbabwe we work on such impactful programme, it is history in the making.
“We together with Merck Foundation are strongly committed to advancing public healthcare sector nationwide, this is very critical to our countries specially in the light of current pressure on our healthcare sector now more than ever,” she said.

Namibia’s First Lady Mrs. Monica

Geingos said it is about time issues of infertility be included in policy making. She also said traditional leaders and traditional healers need to be roped in through capacitated to understand infertility issues
as they deal with some of the women dealing with this issue

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