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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Only 11 needles left in Richard Zulu’s body

Headlines Only 11 needles left in Richard Zulu's body

Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya visiting the recovering Richard  Zulu
Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya visiting the recovering Richard Zulu

Richard Zulu, the boy who had an initial 44 foreign objects lodged in his body has continued to recover well as more and more of the needles and wires continue to be surgically removed.

The Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya disclosed that a total of 33 needles have thus far been removed from Richard’s body.

On the 7th of January, 2019, a team constituting 5 surgeons headed by the Chief Paediatric Surgeon, Dr. Bruce Vulani and supported by director Clinical Care and diagnosis, Dr. Alex Makupe performed the operation which started around 12 hrs and lasted close to 3 hrs and involved opening up of the lower part of the neck, chest and abdomen to remove the foreign bodies.

Speaking yesterday during a media briefing and before visiting Richard in ICU at UTH, the Minister revealed that 2 needles where removed from the neck where as an additional 2 where removed from around the heart area, 2 from the lungs and 3 from his liver.

The Minister further stated that Richard has been recovering in the intensive care unit the past 4 days and that his condition is stable, adding that he was now feeding well.

The Minister announced that the remaining 11 needles are not in delicate areas and have been left in order to reduce surgical trauma to the child.

“Since the remainder of the needles are not in delicate parts of the body, we will allow Richard to recover and grow before we can embark on the process of removing the remaining ones,” the Minister said.

The child who earlier had 44 needles in his body that were discovered after the CT- Scan ,had 25 of them removed at Chipata General Hospital in Eastern Province while the remainder got referred to University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka.

Circumstances of how the needles got into the boy’s body are still not clear and are under investigation by the local authorities in Chipata.

Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya visiting the recovering Richard  Zulu
Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya visiting the recovering Richard Zulu


  1. Please evacuate him to South Africa. Nobody in government wants to upgrade UTH whilst in power. From UNIP through MMD to PF.

    • Can the politicians stop making points from the little boy’s suffering? Every opportunity to have pictures taken with the boy is being exploited as if they want to show the whole world who is helping. They are like vultures circling over a dying prey. Do they have to turn up with cameras each time the boy is bandaged? As if they care

    • @Olivia, you must have kids. Indeed children are stronger than most adults, this is why I call that boy Mr. Rich. What a strong boy!!

    • Red Jury

      If politicians did not check up on Richard, there would be no media coverage and we would not know about his progress….the media rules in this case…..

    • @Spaka not true. This boy’s story was broken by the media before any politician had turned up. They jumped on the bandwagon later and now want to grab all the limelight. They can visit the patient without the media

    • Circumstances of how the needles got into the boy’s body are still not clear and are under investigation by the local authorities in Chipata. But local authorities in Chipata do not have capacity to do a thoroughly investigation. Why not evacuate the boy to India or China, mweBantu please..?
      My appeal to our beloved president, EECL..?

    • Now we only have 11 more left … great progress. Great job to the attending physicians and wishing the little lad a quick recovery.

    • So how did those foreign objects enter his body? What has the police investigation concluded? Where are those fooools who were asking for prayers for the boy? Where is this boy going to spend the rest of his life? If this is still unsolved ..

    • Jay Jay I don’t think our police can investigate this kind of problem. The doctors seem to be our best bet here

    • In India, a girl had ants coming out of her ear for years. Did they remove them in a day? NO. Dr Chilufya is a qualified and experienced medical doctor first. And the Ministerial post is second.

  2. We pray he heals well and the remaining needles are removed.

    And a big thank you statehouse media for omitting the

    ” president lungu ordered an evacuation to UTH ”

    This sounds much better for Zambian ministry of health and does not imply lungu has a say who lives or dies.

  3. As interesting as this case is, together with one of the separate twins, I think it is taking up too much time of the Minister of Health. He should instead be driving holistic solutions that will make such operations routine and also reduce the need for evacuations to South Africa and India. A side note to this story, the success/recovery of this child will remain overshadowed by the question of how in the first place did he get 44 foreign objects/needles in his body in the first place? Surely that should not be a complicated case to solve or investigate?

  4. Frankly, it’s shameful how the “Hon” minister and other posers by the young boy’s bed seek to gain political capital off his misfortune. If they were truly concerned with the boy’s health, they would respect the his privacy and provide care in quiet. For the rest of his life now, Richard Zulu will be known as “needle boy” because these people couldn’t handle the matter with discretion. Shame.

    Rather than score political capital off an innocent boy, how about the “honourables” tracking down and prosecuting those who did these awful things to him? Perhaps it is because politicians don’t want have their pictures taken next to criminals?

  5. The mother ,Father and relatives of this little boy should be arrested.Period!This investigation does not need to a month.Well, its in Zambia and it will take 5yrs or not at all…

  6. Our Heavenly father, I bring this child before You. You are our Healer. There is nothing impossible with You. I come against any plans of the enemy in Jesus name. I even surrender our medical team in Your precious hand. I pray that You guide them as they remove the remaining needles in the boy’s body. The devil is liar. I nullify every plans and schemes of the devil. I declare total healing in the child’s body. Let this child declare a testimony of Your goodness and mercies. Lord You rein on the throne. You are the author and finisher of our faith. I believe in Your healing powers. I thank You in advance for I know that it is done to the glory of Your name.

  7. These *****s have no shame ..look at the cameras around a minor.. I am surprised the doctor in charge of the patient is allowing this folly. UTH is good enough for poor kids to have surgical operations but not good enough for one Lazy Lungu to have a routine check; he would rather have Boer nurses look after his dumba$$ in RSA.

  8. The count down 11 more to go. What do you say little Rich, was used in some ghastly witch craft procedure?

    This is child abuse /negligence on the part of the parents. Arrest them and sweat them down at the police station.

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