The survey on the State of Maternal and New Born Health Care Services in Lusaka Province has revealed that UTH on average records 60 deliveries per day while the labour ward only has capacity for 17 deliveries.
The survey also shows that UTH labour ward with its 17 bed delivery space has remained the same since inception in 1969.
According to the survey, UTH maternity and theatre space which was designed for a small population has been remarkably reduced by 25 percent.
“The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) has expanded in recent years and has been relocated from ward C22 to ward D11. There has been a reduction in the maternity space since ward C11, C13 and B 21 has been taken away from Obstetrics and Gynecology. Ward B21 is now used as a cancer ward, C11 is female highly cost ward and ward C 13 is now female surgical; high cost ward,” the survey says.
It said there has been a reduction in the operating theatre space since phase III theatre 7 which used to be elective gynecology space was taken away and given to surgery C block theatre, consisting of three operating rooms, was originally designed for Obstetrics and Gynecology emergencies.
It says currently with the repossession of theatre 7 in phase III, all emergency and elective Obstetrics and Gynecology cases are being conducted in C block theatre of note, only one operating theatre is allocated for emergencies and only two theatres are being used for elective gynecology cases.
On human resource, the survey shows that there is a glaring shortage of midwives on the labour ward with a midwife patient ratio translating to 1.6.
It also shows that there is a shortage of nurses with an average of three nurses per shift, making it impossible to fully optimize the Obstetrics and Gynecology theatre at any given time.
The survey also revealed that there is a critical shortage of nurses in the Neo Intensive Care Unit with an average of only three nurses against 60 patients per day giving a nurse patient ratio of 1:20.
It also revealed that currently, UTH has no nurses that are specifically trained in neonatal care.
The trained neo natal care nurse to patient ratio is supposed to be at 1:1 in the Neo Intensive Care Unit setting.