The Governments of the United States and India collaborated on military medical training to build the capacity of Zambian military personnel who are preparing to deploy on peacekeeping operations. The collaboration between the United States and India marks an important step in the growing peacekeeping relationship between the two countries and in providing critical training to the Zambian defense forces. The United States is proud to support Zambia as it plays a significant role in UN peacekeeping operations today, with more than 1,100 Zambian Defense Force troops and police deployed to six different peacekeeping missions. Under the U.S. Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI), a team of U.S. Department of Defense trainers partnered with two trainers from the Indian Army Medical Corps to prepare personnel from a Zambian Battalion for deployment to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
We joined CDC Zambia and USAID Zambia for a chat about the United States government’s support to Zambia’s Ministry of Health (MoH) to combat the recent cholera outbreak. We also discussed what cholera is, what symptoms to watch for, how to prevent it, and how to treat it. Our guest speakers were Dr. Ellen Yard, an epidemiologist from CDC, and Sara Miner, Senior Social and Behavior Change Advisor at USAID Zambia. The conversation outlined the collaborative U.S. response since the outbreak began in October 2017 and how the agencies have worked together over the past few months. USAID has donated chlorine solution for water treatment, vehicles, and health education materials, while CDC has provided 8 cholera response experts from CDC-Atlanta and 9 staff from CDC-Z who have been working directly to support the MoH/ Zambia National Public Health Institute and Field Epidemiology Training Program on cholera prevention and control activities to reduce the spread of disease and save lives.
Dr. Ellen Yard is an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has almost a decade of experience working with ministries of health across the globe with investigating disease outbreaks. In Zambia, she works closely with the National Public Health Institute as an advisor to the Zambia Field Epidemiology Training Program. Ellen holds a PhD in Epidemiology from The Ohio State University.
Ms. Sara Miner is a Senior Advisor on Social and Behavior Change at USAID Zambia. She has more than a decade of experience in public health, focusing on promoting healthy behaviors. She holds a Master's degree in Public Health from the George Washington University in the United States. Sara has lived and worked in 5 African countries.
We caught up with our Department of Defence colleagues for a chat on the United States Government's goal to enhance peace and security with the added aim of educating the public about U.S.-Zambia military-military relations. The focus was on an October to November U.S.-Zambia Air Force training program. Our guest was speaker visiting U.S. Air Force Major Jared Cordell. Major Cordell talked about the U.S. 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron’s training to prepare the Zambian Air Force (ZAF) for the arrival of newly acquired C-27 Spartan cargo aircraft. U.S. Embassy Zambia Defense Attaché Lt. Col. Jordan explained U.S. support for Zambia’s peacekeeping engagement in the Central African Republic, a partnership that will enable ZAF to engage in security and humanitarian disaster initiatives around Africa.
We sat down with the Communications Director for Millenium Challenge Account-Zambia Dr John Kunda, to discuss the impact of the water and Sanitation project being undertaken in Lusaka. He explained all about the good works that are being carried out by different contractors with the support of the American people through MCA-Zambia which was established under the laws of Zambia as a company limited by guarantee, designated by the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) as the Accountable Entity to implement the Lusaka Water Supply, Sanitation and Drainage Project. This has been funded by the United States of America, acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). The Compact agreement between MCC and GRZ was signed on May 10, 2012.
The National Democratic Institute (NDI) through a Grant from the United States Agency for International Development hosted an interparty Youth workshop to help increase the voice of the Youth in their parties. We sat down with Rabson Chisha (Rainbow Party), Moses Chilando (Patriotic Front) and Milner Mwanakampwe (United Party for National Development), who are are all from Central Province, where there was a consensus among 40 youth from 8 parties about what to do together to address some of the biggest challenges facing the youth in Zambia today such as unemployment and poverty. The youth leaders all agreed that they had more that unites them than that which divides them and that presented a huge the benefit of working together.
We are excited to announce that the application cycle for the 2017 PEPFAR Small Grants is now open. Application deadline is Tuesday, February 28, 2017. For more information, please visit zm.usembassy.gov and follow the U.S. Embassy in Zambia on Facebook and Twitter. To help us with the facts and details of the application process, we are joined by PEPFAR Civil Society Engagement Officer, Ms. Priscilla Chisala Chimba.
Ambassador Eric Schultz discusses the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) meeting in South Africa this month. The 182 CITES member countries, including both the United States and Zambia, will decide what measures are needed to end poaching, illegal trade in wildlife, and wildlife trafficking, while keeping pressure on poachers. The Ambassador says poaching impacts both game ranching and tourism, areas that have unfulfilled potential to create jobs. Wildlife populations need to increase to make ranching and tourism sustainable. One study shows an elephant can be worth US$ 1.5 million in tourism revenue over its lifetime, while hunting fees and local spending by hunters may only draw a small fraction of that amount, benefitting a small number of people only once. The United States is proud to be a supporter of Zambian wildlife by providing funding and training to DNPW staff, and Americans are the largest group of foreign holiday tourists who visit Zambia every year.
Dr. Agnes Ngoma Leslie a Senior Lecturer and Outreach Director at the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida, spoke to us about the importance of women getting involved in politics. She says having more politically involved women will increase women's voice in parliament and lead to better laws for women being passed in parliament. Dr. Leslie received her B.A. in Mass Communication from the University of Zambia and her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Florida. She teaches courses in African politics, Women and Politics and Human Rights in Africa. Her research focuses on social movements, citizenship, human rights, policy and development, and regional integration in Southern Africa. Her book: Social Movements and Democracy in Africa: The Impact of Women’s Rights in Botswana was published by Routledge in New York and London in 2006. She is a senior editor of Encyclopedia of African History and Culture: A Learning Source Book.
We sat down with Kathryn Koonce from the PEPFAR Zambia team to talk about the DREAMS writing challenge. DREAMS is an initiative to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries including Zambia. The goal of DREAMS is to help girls develop into Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe women.
2. What is your dream for young women in Zambia and how can you (as an individual) help make this dream a reality?
DREAMS is addressing the factors that directly and indirectly increase girls’ HIV risk, including poverty, gender inequality, sexual violence, and a lack of education. It will be working in Lusaka, Ndola and Chingola.
It’s supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Girl Effect. In Zambia we are working closely with the National AIDS Council, UNAIDS and many other partners.
As we are leading to the launch of dreams at the end of January, we’re asking for young people in Zambia (from 15 to 24) to submit 600-word essays answering one of these two questions:
1. What is your dream for young women in Zambia and how can others (your family, community, school, government, etc.) help you, as an individual, achieve this dream?
December 31, 2015