State procures prosthetics, orthotics

CHALI MULENGA, Livingstone
DEPUTY Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya says Government has procured prosthetics and orthotics for rehabilitation of amputees and trauma victims worth US$428,051 (K31.1million).
A prosthetic is an artificial device that replaces a missing body part, which may be lost through trauma, disease, or congenital conditions.
Dr Chilufya said the equipment will be delivered to four tertiary hospitals to strengthen the provision of rehabilitation services for amputees and trauma victims.
He said this yesterday when he officially opened a Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional prosthetics and orthotics conference.
“This equipment has already been installed and is being used at these selected sites. All this was made possible due to the cordial partnership between the Ministry of Health and Ottobock India in the provision of this high-tech equipment,” he said.
Dr Chilufya said the increase in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases, HIV-induced disabilities, road traffic accidents, occupational injuries and malformations have all placed a huge burden on rehabilitative services in Zambia.
He said Government recognises the challenges faced by people with disabilities, hence the move to ratify the United Nations Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).
“To this effect, my Government is working on domesticating the Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities through our implementing agencies like the Zambia Agency for People with Disabilities (ZAPD),” he said.
He said the disabilities policy was recently approved by Cabinet and is awaiting dissemination.
“This is clear evidence of my Government’s commitment towards improving the lives of our brothers and sisters who are differently-abled. I would like to assure the nation, through you that the Patriotic Front administration will always endeavour to provide an enabling environment to advance the interests of people with special needs,” he said.
And management and health care consultant Kerrin Begg said the conference would help to form basis of working groups for ongoing processes towards outcome and best practices.
Dr Begg said there is need to collect and collate SADC regional data and information to inform policy and decision-making.
She said there is need for policy representation at national and regional level and to influence national role players in countries of origin.

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