Zambia Medical Insurance
The Ministry of Health department oversees health planning and funding allocation in Zambia. The organisational structure of the department consists of five sub-departments, namely the departments of Public Health and Research, Human Resources, Policy Planning and M &E, Clinical Care and Diagnostic Services, and Technical Support Services.
The mission of the health care sector is to deliver health care services that prolong the life expectancy of the population and inform the population of the value of a healthy lifestyle. According to Zambia’s health care policy “Every able-bodied Zambian with an income should contribute to the cost of his or her health”, those suffering from diseases such as TB, STI’s etc., children under five and adults over 65 years old are exempt from fees.
Secondary health care in Zambia is administered at three levels; Level one includes district hospitals also known as primary hospitals; Level two contains provincial Hospitals also known as secondary hospitals; Level three consists of Tertiary hospitals. Primary health care is delivered to urban and rural communities by health centres or health posts.
As of 2011 the birth rate was estimated at 44.08 births per 1,000 members of the population, with infant mortality rate of 66.6 deaths per 1,000 live births. The life expectancy of a child born in Zambia in 2011 was 51.13 years old for males and 53.63 years old for females. The adult prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS is 13.5 percent, as of 2009 there was an estimated 980,000 people living with the disease in Zambia. That same year 45,000 deaths were attributed to HIV/AIDS. In the year 2000, Zambian children had a school life expectancy of seven years, meaning they could generally expect to receive 7 years of schooling.
The Zambian health care infrastructure is best described as poor, especially in rural areas and is generally due to lack of funding, poorly maintained facilities and supply shortages of medications and medical equipment. The availability of basic drugs and needles is wholly inadequate; it is recommended that you carry a sterile medical kit that includes needles. You should also bring any medication that you may require with you, although custom officials may ask for prescriptions on arrival into the country. As an expatriate, should you fall severely ill or injured in Zambia, the nearest medical facility capable of providing appropriate levels of treatment may be outside the country. In such cases you may require medical transportation or evacuation from the country which can be very expensive, the best way to offset these expenses is to take out either travel insurance or international health insurance.
Before you travel, ensure all routine vaccinations and booster shots are up-to-date. For comprehensive information relating to current health threats and concerns, you should consult a travel medical care professional at least six weeks before you travel. Some of the diseases that are currently affecting the population of Zambia are water borne diseases (Cholera, Dysentery, Hepatitis A), diseases contracted via the respiratory tract (Tuberculosis, Meningococcal meningitis), disease contracted from infected blood or bodily fluid (Hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS), and diseases contracted from animals (Rabies, Schistosomiasis).
Malaria, an infection of the red blood cells, is present in all areas of Zambia. Malaria is contracted from the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. This type of mosquito feeds predominantly from dusk till dawn. There are various risk factor associated with contracting the disease such as length of stay, season of travel, location and the type of accommodation. Preventative medication is available but is not 100 percent effective.
Dengue fever contracted from the bite of the Aedes mosquito is a non-medication preventable disease. The Aedes mosquito feeds predominantly during daylight hours.
To reduce the risk of contracting either Dengue Fever or Malaria it is recommended that one wear insect repellent, long-sleeves and trousers and sleep in air-conditioned rooms using bed-nets.
Incidents of mugging, bag snatching, theft, car hijacking, and armed robberies are common in Zambia. Bandits target luxury cars and have been known to target stationary vehicles while they wait to enter gated properties. Attacks can occur anywhere in Zambia, especially in Lusaka, the Copperbelt towns and tourist centres. Car-hijackings have been reported on the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo on the road between Mufurlira and Ndola. One is advised not to stop for strangers even if flagged down and to keep doors locked and windows closed.
One is also advised to avoid the Cairo Road area of Lusaka, including Chachacha, Freedom Way and Lumumbe Roads, in the past violent robberies resulting in fatalities have taken place in this area. Remain vigilant in on the road that leads to Songwe Village, in the Northern Province and on the abseiling point on Victoria Bridge. Walking after dark is not advisable in any areas.
Homosexuality, pornography, and drugs are illegal in Zambia with long prison sentences being imposed on those that break the law. The Zambian Government considers some sites to be sensitive, including places like power station and pumping stations, army barracks, and airports etc., so avoid taking photographs of such places as it may lead to issues with the police.
If you are considering spending any time in the Republic of Zambia contact Pacific Prime to discuss, free of charge, you or your group’s health care needs. Pacific Prime can offer a wealth of professional expertise and services. Our policies can be tailor made to suit every budget and health care need from dental, maternity, and medical evacuation. For peace of mind for the duration of your stay contact Pacific Prime to speak to one of our advisors about medical insurance today.