MIKE MUGALA, Mongu
MINISTER of Health Chitalu Chilufya has commissioned an oxygen plant at Lewanika General Hospital in Mongu, Western Province, at a cost of over K1 million.
And Dr Chilufya said Government will allocate funds in the 2018 national budget for the refurbishment of dilapidated infrastructure at Lewanika General Hospital.
Speaking during the commissioning ceremony on Sunday, Dr Chilufya said Government is committed to improving health care service delivery for the people of Mongu and the country as a whole.
“As Government, we will continue to invest in medical technologies, drugs, infrastructure and medical personnel to improve primary health care. The installation of the oxygen plant will reduce the number of referrals to University Teaching Hospital (UTH). The hospital will reduce costs it used to incur in the procurement of oxygen,” Dr Chilufya said.
He also said Government is building four hospitals and five health posts in Western Province to reduce long distances people cover to access primary health care services.
He urged the people of Western Province to partner with Government to foster national development and achieve universal access to primary health care by the year 2030.
Lewanika General Hospital medical superintendent Samutumwa Njekwa said the hospital is still facing a number of challenges despite scoring positive strides.
“Statistics from Epilepsy Association of Zambia show that Western Province has the highest number of epileptic patients. The province also has the highest psychiatric patients but we have no personnel to manage these medical conditions. The hospital also has no intensive care and renal unit,” he said.
He said the health institution is also operating under a reduced operational grant, making it difficult to effectively implement various programmes and activities.
He said the staff and management at Lewanika General Hospital are committed to the provision of the much-needed quality and affordable health care services to citizens.