The Health Professions Council of Zambia has withdrawn the approval certificates for some health related programmes which are approved and recognized by the Council being offered at Lusaka Apex Medical University in Lusaka and Cavendish University.
The withdrawal follows serious violations which were discovered at the last monitoring compliance which was conducted on 17th October 2017 after which HPCZ wrote to the affected institutions to address the violations but that the last inspection conducted on 21st may 2018 still revealed serious violations than those discovered earlier.
Council Registrar, Dr. Aaron Mujajati told a media briefing on Sunday that for Apex University, the programmes withdrawn are Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and Bachelor of Science In Radiography on grounds that the Dean does not have a post graduate qualification and the school having 740 students against 5 Full Time Lecturers, four of whom do not quality to teach among other reasons.
“The Health Professions wishes to inform the general public, stakeholders and students about the withdrawal of approval certificates for training programmes which are offered by Lusaka Apex Medical University. We have withdrawn two programmes at Lusaka Apex Medical University namely; Bachelor of Science and Pharmacy and Bachelor of Science and Radiography,” Dr Mujajati said.
For Cavendish University, the Certificates withdrawn are for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Sciences in Clinical Sciences on grounds that some teaching staff do not have HPCZ practicing certificates, while the University has no policy on Occupational Health and Safety and does not have laboratories at the campus among other reasons.
“We have withdrawn three programmes from Cavendish University namely; MBCHP which is Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery which is a qualification which people obtain to become doctors. We have also withdrawn the Bachelor of Science and Chemical medicine and Bachelor of Science in Public Health,” he said.
“A bit of the background is that before these programmes were withdrawn, the Health Professions Council last year did conduct compliance monitoring exercise in these facilities or in these training institutions. And at that time, these major violations were actually found the training institutions were given an opportunity to address those violations. And they were given adequate time to deal with the violations that were found then and the inspection at that time was done in October last year. And the schools were informed that at a given date, the council come back to check if they had addressed these problems. Unfortunately the ongoing compliance inspection unearthed that the schools did not do much to address these problems.”
He said that the two institutions failed to meet compliance levels in the withdrawn programmes despite being given enough time to do so.
“Some of the problems if you take Lusaka Apex Medical University like the programme under Pharmacy, you will find that the dean does not have post graduate qualifications which is against the standards of the council. The Coordinator of the course does not have the required five years teaching experience. The Institution has over enrolled students up to 740 students against five full time lecturers, four of which are not qualified to teach Pharmacy. And they have inadequate sitting capacity in the Library, inadequate prescribed and recommended books, no clinical instructors available for the students and the laboratory does not meet the required standards. It’s the same if not similar picture with the programme under Bachelor of Science in radiography. The major problem there is that the Dean is part time and his qualifications are unknown. And there is only one full time lecturer,” said Dr Mujajati.
At the same briefing, HPCZ Legal Counsel Frank Lungu has indicated that the Council will take legal action against Cavendish and Lusaka Apex Medical Universities.