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Zambia’s health sector in turmoil


FORMER Minister of Health Dr Chitalu Chilufya says Zambia’s health sector is in turmoil, which leaves Zambians at risk of premature deaths in under-five children, expectant mothers and adults.

And Dr Chilufya says Zambia is faced with a triple crisis due to compromised hospital services delivery, energy deficit and looming hunger exacerbated by mismanagement of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).

Speaking when he featured on Millennium Radio’s The Interview programme monitored in Lusaka, Dr Chilufya said the critical shortage of essential medicines had forced medical personnel in public health facilities to be issuing prescriptions for patients to buy medicines.

“The health sector that we see today is in turmoil, the sector that we see today leaves Zambians at risk from premature deaths from preventable diseases in under five children, in pregnant women and adults.

“If you go to any public health facility today, you will come back with prescriptions and without NHIMA (National Health Insurance Management Authority), which was created under my watch, the health sector today would not even be giving any medicines from NHIMA facilities,” he said.

Dr Chilufya, who is Patriotic Front presidential aspirant, said Zambia was yesterday faced with a triple crisis in the health, agriculture and energy sectors.

He said the triple crisis was exacerbated by a compromised hospital service delivery, poor management of FISP as well as the energy deficit.

“The country today is faced with a triple crisis, a health sector crisis, a crisis in agriculture with looming hunger this year because of poor FISP programme, a crisis with energy with load shedding never seen before and as I talk about load shedding, I am worried about the collapse of small and medium businesses.

 “I am worried about the compromised hospital service delivery because in hospitals, the supply chain of medicines, the cold chain is very important and medicines should be stored at optimum temperatures and emergency operations are done 24 years and if you have statements like we read in the press recently that some hospitals will not be spared, it is cause to worry,” Dr Chilufya said

He said Government must urgently deal with the triple crisis.

Dr Chilufya also called for unity in the PF as the opposition party undergoes its intra-party processes to elect a leader to take over from former President Edgar Lungu.

“We will not allow split of the party after the convention, we will remain united and demonstrate to the people of Zambia the importance of unity as a country,” Dr Chilufya said.

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