About 150 students at the Chilubi island School of Nursing and Midwifery have their careers thrown in the wind after Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya opted to officially open an incomplete district hospital using infrastructure that once served as the training school and hostels.
According to a UPND statement, students that sought anonymity said the arrangement was that the structure would be used as a training school before a hospital is built in the vicinity as it was the feeling of the ministry that a training would serve as a nursery for future human resource for the health facility.
But to their surprise and in view of the forthcoming parliamentary by-election in the area, Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya who is also PF campaign manager opted to turn the training institution into a hospital throwing the students into limbo.
“What we know is that this institution will be used for our training as we had occupied all the rooms which also served as our hostels. The Government was to construct a hospital nearby with staff driven from the school. But we got surprised on Friday when we were told by management to find alternative accommodation as the school was relocating to pave way for it being turned into a hospital.The school has since relocated to some building called Bangweulu shopping complex at the market. That building which once served as a bar is what we shall be using as a theatre lecture room. It is in a deplorable state and we have to endure all this all because the PF is trying to win the parliamentary seat”, the source added.
The students have since been adviced to find alternative accommodation in the villages making their continued learning difficult as most of the houses on the island are not habitable.
The sources further said the Minister has also instructed school management to enrol another 150 students from nearby villages as student nurses who have since been asked to report to the school next Monday for commencement of class.
“As it stands now, we don’t have what we can describe as a normal class environment as that Bangweulu building is substandard and a health hazard. One of the rooms still has bottles of alcohol being sold as can be seen from the photos. Dr.Chilufya has further directed for the enrollment of 150 other students from the nearby village’s without any advertisement as it always the trend. We all know that all this is because of the forthcoming parliamentary by-election. All the mattresses donated to school have been repossessed and given to the hospital which doesn’t even have adequate staff. Please speak for us otherwise our future is nolonger assured” they added.
They have since vowed not to attend class until the situation is normalised.
“We appeal to the Ministry of Health to consider the plight of the stranded students with most of them having no relatives on the island,” the students lamented.
Chilubi parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of the incumbent Rosario Fundanga in November last year.
The UPND is fielding an educationist Stanislaus Chele while the PF is fielding former Kaputa District Commissioner Mulenga Fube Bwalya in the February 13th,2020 poll.