The Parliamentary Committee on Health and Social Welfare yesterday heard that the exodus of health workers from rural to urban areas would be solved by making the rural retention scheme a reality to benefit all health workers.

Presenting the current health situational analysis to the committee, Kasempa Clinic Health Director, Sikota Lutangu, attributed the exodus of health workers from Kasempa district to lack of retention incentives.

Mr. Lutangu said rural health centres have had many challenges in providing acceptable health care services to rural people because of the shortage of medical staff.

He observed that the retention scheme in rural areas has not impacted positively on the health workers, adding that the scheme was just on paper and not a reality.

He explained that health workers in the district have not been enjoying the conditions spelt out in the retention scheme.

“The challenges brought about by the exodus of health workers are many but the problem would be alleviated if the government incentives covered all the cadres at health centres”, he said.

Mr. Lutangu noted that most workers in the health sector were willing and ready to work in remote areas of Kasempa district if they were provided with incentives such as transport.

Mr. Lutangu said the health workers in the district have however, worked hard to bring down the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate to 8 per cent from the previous 15 per cent in the whole district.

He said among the many problems the clinic was faced with was the lack of a laboratory to test HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.

He said most of the people seeking VCT services were referred to Mukinge Mission Hospital.

He was speaking when a Parliamentary committee on Health and Social Welfare toured Kasempa main clinic and Mukinge Mission Hospital to establish challenges the health sector is faced with a rural areas.

Among the members of the committee that were in Kasempa, were Chikankata Member of Parliament (MP), Munji Habeenzu, who is the Chairperson for the committee, Ndundumwezi MP, Edgar Sing’ombe, MP for Mandevu, Jean Kapata, and MP for Chingola, Joseph Katema.

And Mukinge Mission Hospital Executive Director, Jairos Fumpa, attributed the shortage of health workers at the hospital to delay in processing the retention schemes.

Mr. Fumpa said no health worker has benefited from the rural retention scheme, adding that papers have been submitted to the government but no positive results have been realised.

He said the hospital was facing a critical shortage of health workers which has resulted in other members of staff working extra hours in order to provide quality health care services for the people of Kasempa and Mufumbwe district.

Mukinge Mission Hospital offers first level medical and surgical care to both Kasempa and Mufumbwe districts.

And speaking after touring the health centres, Committee Chairperson, Munji Habeenzu, assured the two directors that the problems their institutions were facing would be forwarded to relevant authorities.

ZANIS/SN/EML/KSH/ENDS.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. The government has no money to waste on health workers (civil servants) , but would rather hire an expertriate coach and pay our fortune seekers millions for doing nothing? LPM set your priorities right? wake up people and demand for the basics?

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  2. Mob Justice, I thousands of miles away from Zambia but know that the soccer coach is paid by KCM. Get your facts right before you comment as people will not take you serious even if you have a valid point/s

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  3. This GRZ pays more money to District Commissioners than to medical doctors. All politicians in any public office in Zambia are better paid than the professionals in key departments like health. This is why we have never heard of a politician resigning from any office in Zambia. LPM resigned from the MMD under Chiluba for his own personal security. He feared that he was going to be wiped out. It is therefore correct to state that as long as politicians are worshipped in Zambia by the vast majority regardless of their corrupt behaviours, there will not be any decent handling of the welfare of doctors or other professionals.

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  4. #3 I agree with you as it seems politics is the only “profession” which is rewarding in Zambia. Professionals are denied decent salaries while semi-illiterate politicians are paid handsomely apart from what they steal. This takes me to what Bread Nsemukila was saying about artisans? How does he expect Zambian workers to fully utilise their skills, innovativeness etc if they are paid peanuts, and the so called expatriates most of them illiterates are paid thousands of dollars? That is why some of us left Zambia for the western world.

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  5. these rural areas a pathetic until govt electrifies the centers pipo would b reluctant to work there . can u imagine no proper transport no entertainment no incentives u have to dig a pit latrine etc o the bad things a there who wd want to work in such a place

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  6. It’s very sad that a place like Kasempa could be so under developed yet the place contributes so much to the current boom time the country is experiencing through the copper mines it has within it’s boundary.Besides that the place is very productive in terms of food security of the country.
    What i find ironic is that chiefs in the country recently had cars bought for them by the government when health workers who are supposed to look after the poor people can’t even manage to buy a mountain bike.Where are the priorities?

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  7. GVT should take serious deliberate efforts to invest in rural areas and in turn this will decongest cities.Congested town centres are difficult to manage buy local councils.Kanyama,Ngombe,John Lang are difficult areas to clean and providing good sanitation.The quality of life for some of the residents in these areas is far below than some rural residents.Cholera is an expensive desease to tackle but can be avoided if we decongest cities

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  8. The retention scheme, meant for the rural areas, has been implemented in the cities first (also for lecturers at government schools and universities). This substantiates the claim of previous commenters that politicians make sure they are benefiting first of all.

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