ZMA president Dr. Aaron Mujajati
ZMA president Dr. Aaron Mujajati

The Zambia Medical Association president Aaron Mujajati has strongly condemned doctors for commenting on President Lungu’s health publicly.

“Recently, some members of the medical fraternity have commented on the President’s health publicly. We wish to remind our members that they are doctors first before they are politicians. All medical doctors know for a fact that we are not permitted to comment publicly about a patient that is not under one’s care and even if that were the case, written consent from the patient was required”, Dr. Mujajati said. Dr. Mujajati said ethically, only doctors treating a patient, in this case President Lungu’s doctors, have the right to publicly comment on his illness because they are the only people that have examined the patient have been given written consent to disclose the findings.

This is according to a statement released to the media by the Zambia Medical Association .

Dr.Mujajati said even his association does not have the right to make public comments on President Lungu’s medical condition hence the restriction of ZMA ‘s comments to those of professional guidance in respect of public communications between the medical team and the public. “We can not afford to sacrifice the profession on the alter of political expedience,”he said.

The Zambia Medical Association, ZMA, said President Edgar Lungu was in good spirits when the association visited him in a South African hospital on Saturday. ZMA president Aaron Mujajati said he had led a three-­?man team which consisted of Dr. Robert Zulu, a Consultant Surgeon and Dr. Jonathan Sitali, the ZMA Chairperson for the Public Health Committee in response to a public invitation made by President Lungu when he stated that the Zambia Medical Association was free to visit him.

“As a body that represents medical practitioners in Zambia, we visited the Head of State to provide professional solidarity to his medical team and extend our love and goodwill to both the Zambian leader and his family”, Dr. Mujajati said.

The ZMA chief stated that what President Lungu needs from the rest of the country is moral support while his doctors provide expert care. In this regard, Dr. Mujajati has strongly condemned members of his association who are in politics for seeking political capital out of a development that can happen to anyone.

“That’s why in this statement, we have only described the mood in which we found the President and not his medical condition because that is the preserve of his medical team”, Dr. Mujajati said and added, “ we all should allow them to communicate to the rest of us as and when they deem fit. While we accept that we may all be entitled to our own opinion but let us also be reminded that we are not entitled to our own facts”.

During the term of the late Mr. Sata, ZMA called for transparency on the part of State House in respect of the President’s health while in the same breath called for adherence to medical ethics that require the non-­?politicization of the President’s illness.

Dr. Mujajati said his association is reiterating a similar call and appeal to both politicians and members of the public bearing in mind that everyone would like to be accorded medical ethics, which require that a patient is treated in a humane fashion and with dignity.

While in South Africa, the Zambia Medical Association team held a meeting with members of the South African Surgeon General, an office that looks after the health of the President, constitutional office holders and foreign Heads of State that seek medical treatment in that country.

“We were pleasantly surprised that President Lungu had arranged such a meeting, an indication that he is taking seriously our call for the institutionalization of the healthcare of Zambian leaders – not only for himself but also for those that will come after him”, Dr. Mujajati said.

In the next few weeks, the Zambia Medical Association will be calling on the Minister of Justice to submit the organization’s proposed structure for the office of the Physician General so that the Ministry of Justice may come up with a bill for presentation before Cabinet and finally parliament for enactment. Dr. Mujajati hopes Members of Parliament will support the bill when it comes up for debate in the legislative chamber.

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40 COMMENTS

    • Take it easy Bwana. Are the doctors commenting on malaria, fatigue or the info given by Chanda or they are commenting the way info is wrongly packaged? Big man, go into politics. Outlived usefulness.

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    • If Lungu and state house are commenting on his “malaria” why can’t others do so?

      Doctors are actually better positioned to give a true picture on what is eating Lungu and end speculations.

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    • So ZMA now wants to take over the president’s health and well being? It is Edgar to blame who is allowing his employees to tell us what they are guessing.
      – Malaria
      – Fatigue
      – Lo blood sugar
      – Acarn—- something
      – Food pipe
      – surgery
      Who knows what… my conclusion is that Edgar is not ill, so just stop all these. He fainted from hang-over that’s all.

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    • These DOCTORS do not keep confidential info. Last time I visited my doctor over an ailment. Then we met a week later in the bar . They Doctor started telling my friends ati itole lyandi limo likulu. That is why I cannot walk properly. What type of doctors are these?

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    • AH washing dirty linen in public!! Why didn’t you castigate us in private!
      Private faces in public places,Are wiser and nicer Than public faces in private places

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    • Ok, so there is a difference between comment on Lungu’s illness as a person and talking about Achalasia and it relationship to low blood sugar. Doctors are also free to educate the masses that there is no such thing as traces od malaria or high levels of fatigue….

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    • President EL and Amos Chanda put it out in the public domain all in the name of transparency and now its everyone’s business. Maybe what Amos did not anticipate is the kind of talk the president’s health was going to generate given the fact that it was an illusionary damage control. Unfortunately, jury is out on that one.

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    • The tragedy of a poor country devoting it’s efforts on another sick president instead of poverty. Zambia will take forever to develop if we continue with sick presidents that only use our money for their medical needs instead of them working to improve people’s lives.

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    • Mujajati, it seems you are going political my friend. Slow down, politician temunobe. You will soon come crying for help.

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    • Disappointed with the statement by the Doctors Association. There is nothing private about a Head of State or other public figures. When you become a public figure everything about you has to be scrutinized, especially you claim to be a democracy.

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    • Dr Mujajati or what ever you call your self,let me educate you that there is a difference between a private citizen and a president of a country.When a president is terminally ill the public needs to be told the truth about about the head of state’s nature of illness.This is a requirement ,but for a private citizen its allowed to disclose the illness,an to close relative.
      If you are looking for employment of the office of physician General I advice you to do it well not at the expense of your fellow Doctors in your profession.

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  1. Sense coming from an organization that is not compromised. Why can’t LAZ emulate these professionals?

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    • To me this is being compromised. Probably feeding from state house. What were they doing in South Africa and at whose cost, if they can not come back with a written consent to tell others their findings? He is being a cadre. LAZ is far much better than this organisation. They should have been in the forefront to talk about the health of a presidential candidate as a requirement before filing in their nominations.

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  2. I guess this is meant for Chituwo who has failed politically since Mwanawasa left us. And i see MMD and Dr. Nervous Mumba not adopting him next year. This the last time we have the kind of politicians that can’t stand on their two legs. The Man has fallen from grace from being a cabinet minister to a nobody politically. In short defect UPND if you want to be relevant

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    • Iwe, which MMD are you talking about? No one will be adopted on MMD next year. Chituwo will win Mumbwa Central with a landslide on UPND ticket.

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  3. I feel sad for Mr Lungu as a person and I think we all need to empathize with each other in hard times even when we are political opponents. At the same time it is also sad that we do not have functional health facilities that can cater for the health needs of our people, HE included. Why should costly by-elections be priority over possible investment in our health system?. We continue losing the little money we have to other countries while also eroding our national pride.

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  4. Who paid for the Officials from ZMA trip to South Africa. Is it right for the president to invite them as if the money is coming from his pocket. These guys were given a total of K100,000 as out of pocket allowance. Accommodation at Sherton Hotel at K3,500 per day.
    Now they want to stop people commenting because they are eating with Lungu.

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  5. Medically speaking, announcing a patient’s illness publicly is a breach of professional etiquette.

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    • Not for a public figure (politician), where do you come from? In the civilized world, the voters have a right to know and the politicians have a right to reveal their afflictions before the elections so that voters can make informed decisions. Just compare, in the 200-plus years of American history, how many sitting USA presidents have died from illness (exclude assassinations)? Compare and contrast with Zambia’s record in the past 10 years. Doctors provide results of our physicals to potential employers when we seek employment. Why would it be unethical for voters(employers) to know the results of their employees(politicians) phyiscals or health status. The problem in Africa is that most politicians see politics as a pathway from rugs to riches.

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    • @Man Kenya what kind of a person a president or private citizen.Stop misleading people.We need to be told the truth about the health of our head of state.

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  6. I don’t know where Mujajati was when Dr Manda made those ‘unethical’ remarks about a guy whose dick was sliced almost off by a jealousy bitch called a wife. Dr. Manda said this sarcastically, and worse still on national television! ‘ this is the end of this mans’ sexual life and he will never fornicate again’

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  7. I think ZMA and Mujajati have no idea what Constitutions entitle citizens. Every bit of what he said or has said in the past borders on unconstitutionality.

    The next bunch of unreasonable professionals are lawyers! Ati the matter is before the justices, so please don’t comment …

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  8. In your coming new constitution,try as much as possible the following issues regarding your future presidents: 1.compulsory certified medical history reports safe for cold(flu) 2. Age limit-40-65 yrs active age. Ignore ‘oid is gold’ myths. 3.50%+1 rule. Apply run-off style. Simple majority breeds a president of the few and mostly lacks parliamentary majority-motions fail. 4. Reduce as much as possible to slash presidential powers, take it to parliament. 5.President to be a graduate with relevant academic qualifications. 6.Vet the candidate’s ability and party manifesto thorougly. 7.seek past corruption/scandal records. 8.Live TV debates with tough public questions. 9.Max. two 5 yr terms (not finishing “SATAS TERM”) . Avoid “OUR HERO SYNDROME”. Thanks.

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  9. There we go as Zambians “experts ” on everything but masters of nothing!

    Last Time I read the Chinese were able to put up 57 up stairs building in 19 days. What an Achievement!

    Here 50 yrs we cannot fix a constitution – What a mess!

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  10. Dr. Aaron Mujajati, there is a difference between a private citizen and a public figure. A public figure holding a constitution office is a public servant who is prone to public scrutiny. Anything he does, or goes on his life should be checked and the public needs to know. Lungu fell in front of the public and that sparked the debate. People needed to know what happened. Again UTH or ZMA has no public relations person. Why is it that ZMA president issues statements on behalf of ZMA and UTH?

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  11. It is only in Zambia where a foreigner can become the leader of a medical association and also make politically sensitive statements.

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  12. Disappointed with the statement by the Doctors Association. There is nothing private about a Head of State or other public figures. When you become a public figure everything about you has to be scrutinized, especially you claim to be a democracy.

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  13. @MUSUMALI & SIDO MARK. I was quoted out of context. I meant the specific disease should not have been revealed, ethically speaking. Otherwise the fact that EL is ill is something in the public domain even beyond borders. Why shouid i mislead fellow africans?

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  14. ZMA is created by an act of parliament making it a public instituition. What was the purpose of their trip. Just to come & tell us that the president was in good spirits. Someone with a serious illness can temporarily be in good spirits when not in pain.
    As for the office of PG what will its role be. Will it not just be another monster to feed off our taxes. How will it help to improve our medical facilties. I am not being negative I just need to know so that I can informatively encourage my MP to support the bill in parliament.

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  15. You see now how complicated things are becoming, just because Lungu fell sick he called the entire ZMA to be by his bedside at the expense of Zambian people. This is how unfair the world can be. In the meantime we do not even know how many Zambians died when LUNGU was hospitalised in SA, those of whom needed similar attention. WE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHERE WAS THE MONEY ZMA USED TO GO TO SA TO NURSE LUNGU COMING FROM? As Zambians we are being heavily taxed with a view of assisting our ordinerly citizens, only to pay for one person who just got elected in January to enjoy more medical services. Very unfair indeed.

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