Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Over 4,000 BIDs recorded at UTH between June and November


About 4,339 people died before reaching the University Teaching Hospital between June and November last year.

That figure represents a big rise from the 3,117 recorded over the same period in 2019.

Now Zambian health officials are grappling with a wave of dead-on-arrival cases at the country’s main referral hospital.

The spike in cases may be related to residents not following Covid-19 guidelines, as well as to widespread misconceptions about the virus.

“We have recorded an increase in the number of Brought-In-Dead (BID) cases,” says Professor Lloyd Mulenga, Director of infectious diseases at Zambia’s Health Ministry.

According to Professor Mulenga, UTH recorded 4,339 BID cases from early June to early November as compared to 3,711 in the same period in 2019.

The people arriving dead at the hospital died from a variety of causes, not only Covid-19.

But Professor Mulenga said the spike may be related to the pandemic, reflecting a failure of many residents to comply with Covid-19 prevention measures.

As of mid-December 2020, Zambia had a total of more than 18,400 Coronavirus cases, of which 367 ended in death, according to, an independent statistics portal.

Covid-19 infections continue to rise, with many patients suffering from other diseases alongside Coronavirus.

The increased number of dead-on-arrival cases may be related to a growing tendency to self-medicate against Covid-19, in addition to failing to follow recommended preventive measures.

“In hopes of fighting the virus, many Zambians are using drugs that were developed to combat other diseases, or are taking “various herbal concoctions,” Professor Mulenga says.

“This undermines medical efforts to control the virus and prevent new infections.”

Dr. Nyambe Mukubesa, a resident doctor at the Ministry of Health, confirms that assessment

“Many citizens are abusing malaria drugs and other medicines to treat Covid-19, without seeking medical advice,” he says.

“So a surge in new cases is likely to remain a worry.”

Those views are confirmed by a survey of 1,035 Zambians carried out in March and April 2020 by Ipsos, the Paris-based market research and consulting firm.

The survey shows widespread misconceptions about the virus.

“Approximately half believe that Covid-19 can be prevented by drinking lemon juice and Vitamin C (54 %), or that a hot climate prevents the spread of the virus (49?%),” Ipsos says in a report titled “Responding to Covid-19: Highlights of a Survey in Zambia”.

In addition, the Ipsos report states: “One in four think Covid-19 can be cured with garlic (25?%), and sizeable minorities believe that Africans can’t get it (15%), or that drinking bleach cures it (9?%).

Some misconceptions cause needless anxiety.

“I used to think that the virus only affects the elderly or those with underlying health ailments,” says Mercy Chilongo, 33, who had Covid-19 and recovered from it. “When I got Covid-19, I believed it was the end of me.”

In some cases, people have correct information about preventing infection, but cannot comply. According to Ipsos, social distancing may prove very difficult in a country where many people do not have separate rooms to isolate infected family members.

But many prevention measures are within the control of residents, who nonetheless are not using them. “The improper wearing of face masks, with citizens dropping the masks when talking or wearing their masks on their chins, or not observing physical distancing, is a battle we continue facing,” says Health Minister Dr. Chitalu Chilufya.


  1. Everything is rotting under Lungu & PF …from healthcare to food security ,economy and on to personal safety.

  2. BID should not be an issue for the hospital because these people are brought in dead… We must all develop the habit of seeking medical attention in the soonest possible time

  3. It is expected especially with covid. Nothing sinister. Let us thank our men and women in uniform who do a difficult job in hospitals

  4. The figures which Chitalu Chilufya has been presenting are doctored and fake.
    Conducting antigen or antibody tests on the population will provide a very close estimate of how many people actually contracted covid-19 and recovered.This estimate can be compared to the fake total covid-19 figures by being presented by Chilufya.
    A huge variance in the figures will confirm that there has been gross under-testing by the Ministry of health.

  5. And this is just at UTH. Imagine now putting all the hospitals totals together the figure will be substantial. God help us.

  6. “We have recorded an increase in the number of Brought-In-Dead (BID) cases,” says Professor Lloyd Mulenga, Director of infectious diseases at Zambia’s Health Ministry.

    How can you allow such incompetence and shambles from the same ministry all the time…watched the PS, Director of MSL and Director HoneyBee Pharmacy at the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee it made my blood boil, our country is not in safe hands health-wise as these people are running it like a katemba, there is no way in proper govt can a civil servant be that arrogant….Chilufya needs to go its a shame that the appointing authority is weak and compromised but if this carried on a lot of people will continue dying I mean how do you distribute defective condoms without verification….the PS claims she didn’t…

  7. PS claims she didn’t approve anything, the Director of Medical Stores is clueless….its shambolic to say the least.

  8. And this BID figures are just for UTH …how about if you include Ndola, Kitwe Hospitals and include the hospitals in major towns …again it goes back to Lungu who stopped recording of these figures.

  9. People attitudes and belief processes are mere comfort rituals. By now everyone should be very practiced in wearing masks and not socialising in crowded places. Unfortunately people drop the ball and feel falsely confident that the disease is elsewhere. The truth is Lockdowns help to drop the infection rates.
    We need to be tougher, and advertise more at this stage on the new wave. There should be strict control of social distancing practice, and masking. I don’t think people really believe in Lemon juice, and garlic as preventitive! Vitamin D, C will definitely help your bodies immune system. Garlic does help in thinning blood which is helpful during the flu season.

  10. We keep hearing the PF rats boasting how lungu and pf have spent hudge sums on health care in Zambia ????

    Like everything else under lungu , the numbers and facts don’t match their boasts of unpresidented development.

    Lungu and his gang live in a parrallel universe to common Zambians

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