Copperbelt Province has been allocated 14 mini hospitals and two first level hospitals out of the 115 and five level one hospitals that will be constructed across the country.
Health Minister, Jonas Chanda says the construction of the mini and first level hospitals on the Copperbelt will start from Kitwe where only 42 clinics and one Teaching hospital are providing health services to over two million people.
Dr. Chanda said the 14 mini and two first level hospitals in Kitwe will be constructed in Kamatipa, Zamtan, Buchi, Kamitondo, and Chimwemwe.
He added that others will be Chawama mini hospital in Chingola’s Chiwempala Township while others will be in Chambishi in Kalulushi.
Dr. Chanda said other areas such Kawama East in Mufulira, and Kaloko, Katondo, Chifubu, Chipulukusu, and Jacaranda in Ndola will each have one mini hospital.
Maposa and Mpatamatu in Luanshya and Mukumpu in Mpongwe districts have also been considered.
Dr. Chanda intimated that government with support from the United Kingdom Export Financing will spend a total of 300 million United States dollars on the projects countrywide.
He also disclosed that the project includes construction of staff accommodation, equipment for and training of members of staff at each health facility in Kitwe will have four mini and two level one hospitals in Kitwe.
Dr Chanda announced this during ground breaking to pave way for the construction of Chimwemwe level one hospital in Kitwe today.
He noted that hospital in Chimwemwe will enhance provision of quality health care services not only in the district but the entire country.
Dr. Chanda said 32 out of 115 mini hospitals have already been completed and are operational countrywide while 46 sites are under construction with 37 sites whose works are yet to commence.
“The Patriotic Front government under the able stewardship of President Edgar Lungu is resolved to attaining the universal health coverage without leaving anyone behind. One of the key pillars to achieving this, is to reduce the distances our people cover to access health services,” Dr. Chanda said.
Dr. Chanda who is also BwanaMkubwa Member of Parliament said completion of the mini and first level hospitals will reduce cases of infectious diseases such as HIV, TB and Malaria.
“To address the health infrastructure gap created by a mismatch between growing population and available health facilities, the PF government therefore embarked on a robust quantitative and qualitative infrastructure development program since assuming power in 2011,” he said.
Dr. Chanda has since called on District Health Directors to strictly ensure that land is preserved to allow expansion of health facilities.
And speaking earlier, Kitwe District Commissioner, Chileshe Bweupe said the district has a higher population and require adequate health facilities.
Meanwhile, NMS Infrastructure Limited Director of Business Development Alistair Johnston, confirmed that works will start once the team is assembled in the district.
And Kitwe District Health Director, Goerge Mukupa said the coming of mini hospitals and one district hospital will decongest the Teaching Hospital which is currently overwhelmed by huge numbers of people.