Speaking at the launch US Ambassador to Zambia, Daniel Foote, said the initiative underscored US government’s strong bilateral relations with Zambia in resolving health care-related concerns through applied technologies.
“We are proud to announce that Zambia is the first country in Africa to launch the GEEKS programme, with Thailand being the inaugural site.
“Starting this initiative here underscores our strong bilateral relationship with the Zambian government, particularly in the health sector, and its role in leading the way for the Africa CDC in the southern region,” Foote said.
Zambia has since 2004 benefited US$3.5 billion towards the fight against HIV under PEPFAR.
The project has helped save over a million lives in Zambia and, at the same time, helped in preventing new HIV infections.
The Center for Dieses Control (CDC) Zambia, with PEPFAR funds, has made significant investments in health information systems, including the national electronic health record system SmartCare.
Over 2 million people were enrolled in the system at over 900 health facilities.
Zambia National Public Health Institute Director, Victor Mukonka, commended the US for the unwavering support to Zambia.
He said the development of robust information systems for data collection, collation and analysis remained critical for his organisation and other NPHI in the southern Africa region and the entire continent.
“Recognising that many gaps exist in our information system is an opportunity for us to improve data collection and analysis to increase quality information for programme management, policy decision and public health security,” Mukonka said.
The training programme was led by the Zambia National Public Health Institute in partnership with the University of Zambia supported by the US CDC.