“WE FEEL good that the operation was successful. We now leave the rest in the hands of God because we want to raise them like normal children.”
These were the words of Moses Mwape, the father of the conjoined twins, Mapalo and Bupe, who were separated by a team comprising 30 highly specialised medical experts at Lusaka’s University Teaching Hospital (UTH) on Friday.
In his statement, Mr Mwape acknowledges the role of God in the whole process. In fact, the nation, including the surgeons and family members, engaged in serious prayers before and during the operation, thanking and praising God for the successful separation.
Indeed, God worked through these gallant men and women of our land in this delicate surgery. It’s a job worth great commendation, and the nation looks forward to seeing many more of such wonderful successes in the country’s health sector.
Of course, currently, we can point to the Cancer Diseases Hospital and other facilities countrywide that have given Zambians hope of getting the best healthcare within the country. But it is operations such as the separation of the Siamese twins that fully give the public confidence in both local health institutions and personnel.
It is clear that if they are provided with all the infrastructure and equipment that they require, medical practitioners in the country can help in saving many lives.
The numbers of people whose complicated health conditions force them to travel abroad to seek specialised services can be drastically reduced. Consequently, the costs incurred in sending patients to other countries will inevitably be reduced, thereby saving resources needed to further improve the country’s health and other sectors.
As people’s health borders on matters of life and death, Government should invest heavily in the sector. While its efforts towards enhancing human capital, motivating health workers through improved conditions of service and upgrading selected health facilities are commendable, citizens will even appreciate them more if all hospitals and clinics in the country receive the same level of attention as far as service delivery, availability of equipment or drugs and adequate staffing levels are concerned.
Having one major referral hospital, UTH, is not good enough as there is congestion at all times, and many who come from different parts of the country cannot even access the best possible medical care at the hospital. Therefore, continuously revamping facilities at centres like Levy Mwanawasa Hospital, Kitwe Teaching Hospital, Monze District Hospital, Chipata General Hospital, Solwezi General Hospital, Mansa General Hospital, and Livingstone Central Hospital, among others, will lessen too much dependency on UTH.
Government and its stakeholders, particularly the private sector, should find ways of increasing investments in infrastructure expansion and modern equipment and technologies in health institutions countrywide. They also need to pump more resources into tertiary institutions concerned with training doctors, nurses and all other prospective health workers.
The blessing that Mr Mwape and his wife, Lydia, experienced in Lusaka last week should be obtainable even in Kawambwa, where they hail from, if investments in health facilities in this era of advanced technology receive the needed attention.
With the confidence that the latest operation has offered to the public in regard to how they view local health experts, people know that wherever a conducive medical environment exists, good health is assured regardless of one’s condition or disease.
In every sphere of life, God works through human beings who have the necessary equipment and facilities at their disposal. This is also true for all medical operations.