The Maureen Mwanawasa Community Initiative (MMCI) and the Ministers’ Spouses Club have donated various food stuffs and building materials worth millions of kwacha to the mother’s shelter at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH).
The donated food stuffs include mealie meal, drinks while the building materials include roofing sheets, tiles and fix, copper connectors, geysers, building and river sand, cobra, taps and pipes among others.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony of the donated items at UTH in Lusaka today, First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa underscored the important role care givers play in the health care delivery system in the country.
Mrs. Mwanawasa said, with the shortage of manpower in most health institutions across the country, mother helped reduce the burden of care givers services on the few health personnel.
She said there was need for government and other stakeholders to partner and construct mothers’ shelters at hospitals more habitable.
She said mothers looking after their sick relatives should be accommodated in shelters where they could even prepare their own meals.
Mrs. Mwanawasa also called for the establishment of fathers shelters at hospitals, adding that even the male fork look after their sick relatives in hospital.
“We also need to embrace the male forks, who in some cases come from far flung areas to look after their relatives in hospital. Most of the time they sleep in bus stations due to lack of shelter at health institutions,” she said.
The First Lady further called on the hospital management to develop educative programs for the mothers in a bid to keep them entertained while looking after the patients at the hospital.
“Let me take advantage of this opportunity to announce that the MMCI with help from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative will be opening a modern mothers’ shelter in Kapiri Mposhi soon,” Mrs. Mwanawasa said.
Mrs. Mwanawasa also toured the renovated male ward C 12, inspected works at the female ward, and toured the mother’s shelter and the maternity wing.
She expressed happiness at the effort the management was doing in uplifting the health standards at the institution.
She noted that the UTH was paramount and important to all Zambians, adding that stakeholders and well meaning Zambians must help in the rehabilitation of the institution.
“There are more positive things happening at UTH. Most people think that the institution is a death trap but it is not because things have changed,” Mrs. Mwanawasa said.
And speaking earlier, UTH Acting Managing Director, Peter Mwaba said the institution was spending colossal sums of money looking after the mothers at the shelter.
“As you know the responsibility of the UTH is to look after patients. But this is not the case as we also cater for the mothers at the shelter who are there to look after their sick relatives” Dr. Mwaba said.
He further observed that there were a lot of patients coming from outside Lusaka to the UTH, forcing the institution to admit patients who were not due because they lacked accommodation in the city.
And Director of Clinical Services and Diagnosis Services at the Ministry of Health, James Simpungwe, thanked the MMCI and Ministers’ Spouses club for the donation.
Dr Simpungwe said the mothers who look after patients did a tremendous job, adding that they make the work of doctors much easier.