MIKE MUGALA, Mongu
GOVERNMENT has spent over 30 million euros out of the budgeted 66 million euros in the ongoing procurement of medical equipment in the country, Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya has said.
And Dr Chilufya says the Japanese government through Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) is in the process of procuring more medical equipment at a cost of US$2 million as part of enhancing bilateral relations with the Zambian government.
Speaking when he met district medical directors in Mongu yesterday, Dr Chilufya said shortage of medical equipment in public hospitals will soon be a thing of the past.
He said the procurement of the remaining equipment at a cost of 28 million euros will be concluded soon.
“Lack of medical equipment in hospitals has been affecting healthcare service delivery over the years. But I am glad to inform you that we have procured equipment worth 38 million euros which will be in the country soon,” he said.
Dr Chilufya said Government will continue investing in the health sector to promote a healthy nation and sustainable socio-economic development.
“We need to have a healthy nation if we are to increase the levels of productivity of our people. As Government, we are fully aware that the greatest capital is good health for our people,” Dr Chilufya said.
He also said Government is concerned about the prevailing high maternal deaths and is targeting to reduce it from the current 398 deaths per 100,000 births to less than 100 in the next five years.
Dr Chilufya also said the ongoing construction of Mongu District Hospital in Western Province will be completed and it will be operational next month.
Meanwhile, Dr Chilufya has commissioned Sankandi Health Post in Sioma district with a pledge that Government will continue to value partnership that promotes development in terms of access to primary healthcare.
He said Government will soon start building a hospital in Nangweshi and five more health posts in Sioma.
Dr Chilufya, who also commissioned the oxygen plant at Lewanika General Hospital, thanked the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) for working closely with Government in fostering development in the country.
Western Province minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu said Government is committed to ensuring universal access to quality health.
And Sioma member of parliament Mbololwa Subulwa urged the people of Sioma to work with Government and foster national development.