By PRISCA LUMINGU and ADRIAN MWANZA
HERE is no evidence to show that Covid-19 patients died as a result of being put on faulty ventilators, the Ministry of Health has said.
Both Permanent Secretary for Administration, Dr George Magwande and Infectious Disease and Internal Medicines Specialist, Professor Lloyd Mulenga, have explained.
Prof Mulenga said it was a very well-known fact worldwide that if a Covid-19 patient is put on a ventilator, it meant that the patient had severe disease and chances of surviving were slim.
“It is a very wel- known fact worldwide that if a person has Covid and you put them on a ventilator, it means they have severe disease and they die because of severe disease. They are not dying because of a ventilator, they die because they are very sick,” Prof Mulenga explained.
Prof Mulenga said he did not have any information on any individual who had died because of a faulty ventilator.
He said the chances of someone surviving when put on a ventilator are very slim due to severe disease complications.
“We really have to be careful how we attribute certain deaths to. We do not have any evidence were someone died because of a faulty ventilator. All the individuals we lost had severe complications,” Prof Mulenga said.
He said what people should understand was that when a patient is put on a ventilator, it meant that medical experts had exhausted all the means to save the patient.
“What you should know is that the time you decide to put someone on a ventilator it means we have exhausted all the options,” explained Prof Mulenga.
He said this was the reason why there has been an emphasis on patients that they should report early once they notice Covid-19 symptoms.
And Dr Magwande said the VG 70 ventilators procured by government were not faulty as portrayed but just a problem with the consumable oxygen sensors that were fitted on them.
Dr Magwende said the lifespan of sensors was up to a year from the time they were fitted on the machine even if it was not in use.
He said he was not aware when the sensors were fitted but that the challenge was that they started malfunctioning after a month of being in use.
Dr Magwende said that the sensors were worked on and were all functioning just fine contrary to the perception being created.
“The ventilators are working just fine after we fitted them with the new oxygen sensors which needed to be worked on from time to time,” he said.
And Dr Magwende said that they took a spot check in the presence of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee where it was discovered that the machines were okay and just needed to be fitted with the sensors.
MPI to curb overpricing in public procurement – ZPPA
By JOHN KOMBE
THE quarterly release of the Market Price Index (MPI) will help to curb overpricing of goods, works and services in public procurement and will remain valid until the next publication, Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) principal officer public relations, Inutu Mushambatwa, has said.
Ms. Mushambatwa admitted that the MPI for the first quarter of 2022 was released late, but said that this was not in breach of the set guidelines.
She was commenting on concerns raised by some stakeholders who wondered how procurement in a said period would be enhanced if the MPIs are released late.
Some stakeholders urged ZPPA to release the MPI in time so as to hold procurement officers will have no room to inflate prices.
Section 12(3) of the Public Procurement Act mandates ZPPA to publish the MPI on a quarterly basis. She said that the MPI is to be used by a Controlling Officer, Chief Executive Officer and Procuring Entities for purposes of an informed price decision.
Ms. Mushambatwa disclosed that there is no timeline for the publication of the MPI in the PPA and the only requirement is for the ZPPA to publish the MPI on a quarterly basis.
She said that the MPI will remain valid for three months from the date of its publication and it shall be in effect until the next publication.
She also said that it is an offence for any person or office holder to willfully or negligently procure goods, services and works at inflated prices.
By PRISCA LUMINGU and ADRIAN MWANZA