Over crowing at UTH during visiting hours
Over crowing at UTH during visiting hours

The Zambia Medical Association has bemoaned the huge crowds that visit patients at UTH during visiting hours.

Association General Secretary Francis Mupeta observed that visiting hour at the biggest hospital become a nightmare.

Dr Mupeta said said the crowds are only comparable to a market.

“This is normal to most of us but what we don’t realise is that the hospital is a highly Infectious area,” Dr Mupeta said.

“UTH is our hospital and crowds like this put direct stress to patients, staff and infrastructure. We can visit but not the whole church gathering on one bed,” he advised.

Dr Mupeta stressed that the public should adhere to instructions of two visitors per patient.

Over crowing at UTH during visiting hours
Over crowing at UTH during visiting hours
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30 COMMENTS

  1. Dr.Mupeta, Is this the duty of ZMA or Hospital Management? Why are that organizations under pf govt. have stopped reasoning in a professional manner and have to wait for instructions from Kaizer Zulu or Bowman Lusambo? UTH management needs to come up with ways to stem this overcrowding during visiting hours e.g Introduce visitors cards to be issued at the entrance of each ward and limit this to two visitors at a time for 5 minutes if there are many visitors.

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    • There are several reasons for the high numbers of visitors at our public hospitals. One I am aware of is that that there is little or total lack of nursing care for patients from hospital staff. Naturally relatives or other care givers try to fill the gap and it is not surprising that nearly all duties are done by these people while hospital staff just deliver prescriptions and endless appointments.

      So relatives literally lodge at hospitals to do work that medical people are paid to do …

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    • Dr is right, am scared in hospitals. And that smell of detal? But:
      Culture of UKUPEMPULA abalwele. It’s like if you don’t visit the sick, then you hate them.
      UKUPEMPULA is also an economic effect on house holds, because visitors have to buy expensive food for their patients like APPLES and Fanta, Suprising enough at UTH now you smell pizza for show off.
      You see so many civil servants at visiting hours in tuma tie, taking pictures of their patients.
      Enough…. I got to work.

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    • Giant big hospitals are not for the third world. With our lack of proficiency they just become giant bacteria gathering places and also, infection market places. We should focus on small township hospitals and clinics.

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  2. This is sound advice by Dr Mupeta. You are dealing here with a cultural issue as well. In fact before I even read this story I was thinking to myself that the way to slowly change culture is for the medical school to be conducting well-publicized public lectures on medical micro-biology so that the public gets to know how microscopic forms of life affect humans. Dr Mupeta knows it but the public do not. The university and the community theme needs to be looked at afresh.

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    • One more thing. UTH is like death hospital. If you referred to UTH, family start interrogating whom you owe money.
      People go not to only visit, but to say “goodbye” to their beloved.
      95% in villages send patients with a crew who are able to bring back body. This have to change.

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  3. Increase the frequency of visitation time , say 5 times a day instead of 2. Treatment time is usually less than an hour in most of these govt hospitals .So, instead of opening the gates at once, try opening them at intervals of 5, I don’t think they d any disruption to the staff.

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  4. If we reduce the number of patients then the number of visitors will automatically go down. Only way to reduce patient numbers is by making our population more healthy.

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  5. Someone is giving constructive advice, but as usual Zambians are nonconstructive aimless talkers. Do not wait for government to tell you everything. Our culture and mannerism needs evolution, we are not in the stone age.

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  6. …My appetite has gone having ready the article above …we have traditions and norms , that fuse in fabric of our sovereignty… recall the building of UTH …People ,` hospital . … innovation should be appropriate … Mr , Dr President , rescind…. your honorable thought… DR Muyangna.

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    • Giant big hospitals are not for the third world. With our lack of proficiency they just become giant bacteria gatherers and infection market places. We should focus on small township hospitals and clinics.

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  7. Great comment by Dr Mupeta! Those large crowds bring food and money to buy medication and lab tests as they don’t have health insurance.

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  8. Such issues in Zambia, in these days, are always an indication of deeper causes. This is a matter that cannot be resolved by simply painting new visiting hour regulations. Questions to be asked firstly, should include; why the numbers of visitors have increased in recent years; are there more patients in less space? As someone has alluded to above, are visitors and relatives coming to hospital to do the chores that health staff no longer (reasons?) do? The answers to these questions should provide the basis to a sustainable solution.
    I think in general, there are other areas of human endeavour in Zambia where we are continually simply dealing with the symptoms rather than the causes.

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  9. No one goes to hospital for a visit if they be no patient! They don’t go there for tourism or window-shopping. Your advise Dr Mupeta is thus unZambian. Without Hospital Mgt crowd control measures such as 2 persons per patient, you cannot just decree that people shud not come to visit. Relatives bring support and hospital supplements such as food, fruits, nappies, towels and sometimes even much-needed hot water which might be lacking. Some syringes are bought by relatives too. Find a way to manage the crowds than join in mediocrity of decision making doing the rounds.

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  10. ZMA , what is your comment , on the demise of wennie mandela…. thoughts from Dr Muyangana

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  11. Dr. ZMA has lost its relevance. Instead of addressing the real issues causing the congestion they are speaking for Kaizar Zulu and Chitalu Chilufya. There are real issues affecting the practice of medicine which you fail to comment but are quick to sing for your masters with the hope of being rewarded. Are not the guys who were clapping for mandatory HIV testing. It was so embarrassing to see the praises from the ZMA president. No knowledge of ethics, no understanding of culture, no understanding of anthropology worse do not have capacity to cite clinical/medical science.

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  12. In as much as this is true. We need to tackle the root cause. May our culture framed around this. So what are we doing as we design our health care infrastructure? ZMA must be thinking big term solutions backed by evidence. Unfortunately ZMA has lost credibility because it seeks short term solutions which are always not grounded on sound scientific evidence.

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  13. ZMA your role and what you must espouse is the autonomy of the patient and promote a family oriented/centered approach. The Zambian family is big and nuclear in nature. Therefore everyone wants to be involved in the care and support of the sick family member or friend. Unfortunately you are not the scientist that you are suppose to be. If you were a group of scientist you must have been proposing methods of harnessing that cohesiveness in the community to improve the care of the patients and not to kill the it. Those crowds in as much as they are a danger to infection control can be the solution to many of the problems the Zambian health care is facing. Consult anthropologist and other behavioral scientist they might help you. Shallow thinking has become synonymous with ZMA.

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  14. ZMA shud talking things that affect doctors more than visitors. The number doesn’t affect you work. Talk about equipment at the hospital, having more medical personnel especially specialists. People travel from different parts of the country and come to UTH where you house 5 specialists for the whole country e.g. ENT. Reducing the number of visitors will ever increase the personnel at UTH. LANDAKO IFILE BWESHA INCHITO YENU PANUMA!

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  15. I am a polygamist with 3 wives and I have 12 children. In addition to this I have 8 siblings. Not forgetting my uncles and aunties who are as good as my parents because I grew up in there homes. ZMA what criteria are you going to use to restrict my visitors? Was this talk coming from a beer hall or it was tabled in the ZMA executive meeting. Sounds like shallow talk. Don’t just make pronouncements on behalf of politicians make well informed and innovative advocacies. Things not done any, innovative and relevant to our setting.

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  16. In Zambia Practice of medicine is like practicing witchcraft because doctors and health care professionals lack basic working tools, diagnostics, drugs and the infrastructure is broken down infrastructure. It’s shocking that ZMA can start talking about number of visitors per patient instead of coming out strong on these things which directly affect their work performance and has cost their credibility and most importantly has led to loss of life. What level of mediocrity has befallen ZMA? Surely instead of taking about things which will make medical practice enjoyable and better you start talking about visitors numbers.

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  17. Next thing ZMA will be talking about the car park at UTH. Really? Medical equipment is not there. You work under unsanitary conditions. Come on people let these things which directly affect your work but have far reaching benefits to your patients be your talk. ZMA has a lot of energy which is misplaced most the time.

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  18. Killing your values which you can utilize to make care of sick people better. People don’t come to the hospital for tourism. It’s out of compassion and love. It’s not just cultural. It’s biblical. Instead ZMA must talk about the broken down public health care system resulting in an overload patients. The lack of proper medical equipment and infrastructure resulting in poor health care outcomes leading to readmissions and overstay of patients. KWENA BA ZMA YOU ARE FAILING TO PUT UP A CASE FOR YOU PROFESSION AND YOUR PATIENTS NOW YOU WANT TO KILL A FAMILY APPROACH WHICH SHOULD NE OUT STRENGTH AND SOURCE OF ADMIRATION BY THE WESTERN WORLD. A lack morals in leadership.

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  19. UTH!UTH!
    That place has issues. Visit UTH at night, you will be shocked at the high number of people who literary sleep there. I am told some people have made it their place for sleeping permanently even if they do not have sick relatives. Management and staff know about this but no one seems to do anything about it. Heaven knows why.

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  20. Please also remove the vendors from the hospital. There is a man who goes round the maternity wings selling talk time! How on earth can this be allowed? In ward G01 or G21, I saw several women with all kinds of merchandise? Please let us be serious. Whilst others are selling, others are letting out their last breath. How can medical staff work? Also the issue of medical students is so overwhelming. Are the patients’ rights considered before they are used as ‘learning objects’ by allowing these students to touch them?

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