President Edgar Lungu says the opening of the upgraded Chilenje and Matero Level 1 Hospitals has drastically reduced referrals to UTH and Levy Mwanawasa labour wards from 28 percent in December 2016 to 14 percent as at January 2017.
President Lungu said Chilenje Hospital has seen a reduction of referrals for all cases from 226 cases in the first quarter of 2016 to 165 in the first quarter 1 of 2017.
He said a further decrease is expected as Kanyama and Chawama Level 1 Hospitals are also fully operational.
President Lungu was speaking when he commissioned Chilenje Level 1 Hospital.
Chilenje and Matero Level 1 Hospitals have been constructed with the help of the Japanese government.
He said the project is a comprehensive self-contained health facility which will provide quality services for many years to come.
The Head of State said Government is determined to re-engineer the health referral system within Lusaka district.
“He said until August 2015, Lusaka district did not have a level 1 Hospital resulting in patients being referred from health centres directly to the then University Teaching Hospital, and to levy Mwanawasa General Hospital. This scenario severely distorted the referral system and congested higher level hospitals. We are now addressing this challenge by upgrading selected urban health centres in Lusaka district to level 1 hospitals,” President Lungu said.
“Today, it is a joyous occasion to be here with you all as I commission the up-graded Chilenje Urban Health centre into a hospital. What we are witnessing here in Chilenje is momentous as you know Zambia’s history struggle for independence and subsequent development is deeply rooted in this township,” President Lungu said.
He added, “it is therefore befitting that Chilenje is yet again a Launchpad for development founded on my firm belief that the most valuable asset that our country possesses is her people who can only attain their full potential, if they are healthy and productive. This is the key driver for our economic emancipation and growth.”
He said Chilenje clinic has for a long time been providing health care to about 77,000 residents but that now more than 350,000 residents of the greater part of Lusaka are expected to receive health care services from the upgraded facility.
“This project would not have been realised without cooperation from the government of the republic of Japan which rendered support under phase 1 at a total cost of k200 million for both Chilenje and Matero hospitals.”
He said phase 1 included construction of the General Outpatient Department, Emergency and Security wings, Maternity ward for both women and new born babies and Medical Imaging Department with X-ray and ultrasound including related facilities of a pump room, cylinder and generator room, transformer, elevated water tank and water reservoir and administration block with offices and conference room.
President Lungu said the upgrading of health infrastructure is only a part of our transformational approach to promoting health in the city.
“The “Healthy City” concept is grounded in our vision that a Zambian city must continually recreate and improve its physical and social environments. This approach recognises determinants of health and the need to work in collaboration with the public, private, voluntary, civic and community based organisations,” he said.
President Lungu said it is therefore imperative that technocrats responsible for planning and implementing the national transformational agenda ensure that the health infrastructure being constructed is in tandem with requisite developments such as health literacy, water and sanitation, appropriate housing, nutrition and the environment.
“Our vision to upgrade health facilities is not aimed at filling them up with sick people, but to make them as a springboard for wellness in respective communities,” he said.