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Christmas Day babies receive Lungu’s gifts

PRESIDENT Lungu donates a food hamper to Florence Chalwe (left) who gave birth to a baby girl weighing 3.1kg at Chilenje Hospital in Lusaka yesterday. Looking on is Minister of Justice Given Lubinda (second left) and Lusaka Province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe (in checked shirt). PICTURE: SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE

CHOMBA MUSIKA & KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu celebrated Christmas Day yesterday by giving gifts to children at three health institutions in Lusaka.
The President donated an assortment of food hampers to children at Chilenje Hospital, Kalingalinga Clinic and Our Lady’s Hospice in Kalingalinga township.
At Our Lady’s Hospice, the President, who was accompanied by his daughter Tasila, donated food and groceries, among them bags of mealie meal, sugar, cooking oil, drinks and salt to the children attending a Christmas party.
Speaking before receiving the donation, hospice director Emmanuella  Mwansa said the institution was humbled by the President’s donation.
Sister Mwansa said the hospice provides palliative care to 3,000 residents.
She, however, said the facility has several challenges, among them inadequate transport, lack of money and shortage of staff.
“The Isuzu vehicle which works as an ambulance and hearse needs to be replaced because it breaks down frequently.
“We have a car donated to us by the Irish Embassy but it cannot be on the road because we have not paid K41,000 tax to the Zambia Revenue Authority [ZRA],” Ms Mwansa told the President, who was accompanied by Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya and Munali Member of Parliament Nkandu Luo.
She appealed to Government to consider adopting some members of staff and put them on government payroll.
In response, President Lungu said he will help ensure that the K41,000 duty for the clearance of the donated vehicle is found.
Mr Lungu also promised to buy a vehicle for the hospital amid applause and ululation from members of staff and the children, who also presented a poem in honour of the President.
And Dr Chilufya said staff at the hospice will be put on government payroll.
The President, who distributed drinks to the children, some of whom were capturing the moment on their phones, said the presentation of the gifts is in the spirit of Christmas which encourages giving and sharing.
And after receiving her drink, five-year-old Matilda Changwe said: “I am very happy to receive a gift from the President and I will tell my mother about it.”
While leaving the premises, President took time to greet scores of Kalingalinga Township residents and Patriotic Front (PF) supporters who mobbed him at the gate to the hospice.
He later proceeded to Kalingalinga Clinic where he donated a gift to a Christmas baby.
And donating hampers to four Christmas babies at Chilenje Hospital, President Lungu advised mothers of newly born babies to take care of their children especially in their first five years to prevent stunted growth which is a major challenge in the country. READ MORE
President Lungu encouraged the mothers to be taking their children for under 5 check-ups regularly.
He also expressed happiness at the state of the Chilenje First level Hospital.
And Sister in-charge Jane Botha said that it is a privilege to have President Lungu visit the hospital.
And Emeldah Chuma and Florence Chalwe, whose children were born yesterday, thanked the President for the donation.
“We will live to cherish this day and ensure that my daughter grows to know that her first present came from the Head of State,” Florence Chalwe said.

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