Govt bemoans Increased HIV/AIDS cases
BY ANDREW MUKOMA
GOVERNMENT says that despite the strides which the country has made in the fight against HIV/AIDS amidst the Covid-19, the number of new infections have continued to rise and currently stands at 43,000 new cases annually.
Newly appointed Health Minister Silvia Masebo says that if the country is not careful, all its achievements in both the fight against HIV/AIDS and Covid-19 would be wasted.
Speaking during the official opening of the 57th Zambia Medical Association (ZMA) Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Livingstone yesterday, Ms Masebo assured doctors in the country of the UPND government’s support towards their welfare.
She said that the government will ensure doctors were motivated by making sure that senior positions are created for senior doctors, and give room for junior doctors to be promoted.
The Minister added the UPND government was also prioritizing the recruitment of health professionals in the country to meet the increasing demand from the public in providing health services.
“The UPND government will ensure that emoluments for doctors and other health professionals are improved,” she said.
“I want to advise you on the issue of not having senior doctors in hospitals or health experts to attend to patients. This issue has led to loss of lives and it has also created a bad image for the sector,” Ms Masebosaid.
She further stated that the issue of shortage of drugs in hospitals and clinics is being addressed by the government.
In view of this, the minister has advised ZMA members to ensure prudent use of medical supplies saying that they are usually purchased at a very high cost by the government.
She assured ZMA that the UPND government is focused on improving the financial status of the sector as well as procurement of medical supplies.
Earlier, ZMA president Samson Chisele called on the new government to address the issue disbursement of funds to the health sector.
Dr Chisele said currently, the disbursement of funds and health financing has not been very good on an account that by the time the funds reach the ministry, it would have been absorbed.
He said that the issue must urgently be addressed in order for the ministry to strengthen health delivery and systems in the country.
Dr Chisele further urged government to ensure the issue of shortages of medicine supplies and drugs in hospitals is addressed.
Meanwhile, Dr Chisele pleaded with Ms Masebo to ensure the ZMA bill which is currently under internal refining is supported once it is taken to parliament.