Action from the grassroots to parliament
Posted on 22 February 2010
By Honorable Lazarus Chota, Violet Kabwe, Chama Nshindano, and Owas Mwape
The unique positions of stakeholders participating in the Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA) Zambia, means that the group are able to initiate discussions at many levels from grassroots to parliament. This is of great value in highlighting critical issues about the lack of access to essential medicines experienced by many citizens in Zambia and makes progress towards finding some solutions. A recent article in Africa Health highlights their achievements so far. (Click here for the full article in Africa Health)
Recent events in Zambia in the medicines industry have put a spotlight on access to essential medicines. MeTA Zambia is taking the opportunity now to raise awareness at all levels from the grassroots to parliament about the right to health and about access to medicines.
Stakeholders in MeTA Zambia hold unique positions in different places. This allows for a variety of approaches to be taken. For example, Honorable Lazarus Chota, has been a Member of Parliament since 2006 for the opposition party. He is also Vice Chairman of the Zambian Chapter of the Executive Committee African Parliamentarian Network Against Corruption and in May 2009, he was elected as Chairman of the MeTA Zambia Council. This has created opportunities to address parliament to promote the issue of access to essential medicines.
At the other end of the scale entirely, MeTA Zambia is using community outreach approaches to raise awareness of the importance of the right to health and access to medicines. To bring these issues to the community, and to raise awareness of rights and what MeTA Zambia is aiming to achieve, they used radio outreach and roadshows.
These two examples demonstrate the broad approaches that MeTA is able to take because of its multi-stakeholder nature. Stakeholders from different sectors are coming together, sitting round the same table and discussing what steps need to be taken and at which levels, in order to make progress towards access to medicines for all citizens. This approach is, so far, proving very beneficial for MeTA Zambia.
Honorable Lazarus Chota is Chair of MeTA Zambia Council; Chama Nshindano is MeTA Project Coordinator; Owas Mwape is MeTA Zambia Council member; Violet Kabwe is MeTA Zambia Consultant.
Read the full article here