Friday, June 14, 2024

President Hakainde Hichilema should fire Health Minister, Sylvia Masebo and save lives

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The Member of Parliament for Malole, Robert Kalimi, has called on President Hakainde Hichilema to fire the Health Minister, Sylvia Masebo, in order to save lives that are being lost due to poor health delivery.

Kalimi accused Masebo of exhibiting arrogance on the matter and challenged the President to confirm whether this behavior is directed by him. Kalimi stated that a parliamentary report on health conducted by Dr. Christopher Kalila has exposed the incompetence of the UPND administration, particularly Masebo who has already been fired from previous administrations due to her lack of competency.

“The government and the National Assembly spent alot of money to constitute that committee to go round to get the input of the stakeholder from medical officers and at the end you say the Speaker’s report is not important. You waste people’s time to submit to your report and you say this report is useless. This is how uncaring and wicked the UPND is,” he said.

The MP argued that the lives of the people in Malole are being lost due to preventable diseases such as malaria and called on the President to take action to address the issue.

“Am urging the President if he is morally upright, let him fire Slyvia Masebo today because people are dying. People in Malole are dying over something that is preventable like malaria. If the President means well am challenging him that he should stop that nonsense at Ministry of Health,” he said.

There has been a public outcry about the availability of essential medicines and medical supplies in public health facilities across Zambia. The Ministry of Health and its supply chain agency, the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supply Agency (ZAMMSA), have been accused of not adequately supplying these essential items to public health institutions. The issue has been raised in both traditional and social media platforms, as well as on the floor of the House. The Minister of Health, Hon Silvia Masebo, gave a statement on the issue on October 7, 2022, and the Speaker tasked the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services to investigate the challenges leading to the shortage and make recommendations on how to address the problem.

The committee’s report found that the national average availability rate for essential medicines and medical supplies was 53.1%, far below the recommended World Health Organization (WHO) stock availability rate of 70-80%. Tertiary institutions and general hospitals were operating at a rate of 45%. Almost all of the facilities visited attributed the shortage to ZAMMSA. The report also revealed that the stock-out rate for these essential items was 59.8% over the past nine months, meaning they were only available 40.2% of the time.

In order to keep these facilities open, many were using grants beyond the allowed percentage of 30%. In some cases, up to 80% of the monthly grant was being used to supplement the lack of medicines and medical supplies. This compromised the ability of the facilities to cover other operational costs, such as maintenance, fuel, cleaning materials, and food for patients.

The report, which was chaired by Dr. Christopher Kalila, concluded that the supply chain of essential medicines, surgical supplies, and laboratory reagents was “below par and worrisome.” It stated that the situation is characterized by “insufficient, erratic and inconsistent supply” by ZAMMSA, which has led to the current shortages and stock-outs being experienced nationwide and negatively impacting the quality of healthcare delivery.

However, when the report was presented to Parliament on Friday, it was rejected by UPND Members of Parliament along with its recommendations.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Masebo is not to blame . Her boss has taken the role of Do It All. No minister is free to operate without his permission. Just leave the poor woman alone.

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    • It is clear, nobody likes Masebo.
      HH listen bro, it won’t be nice if people go to streets. People will start protests and police will shoot them, and we be back to PF days.

  2. Masebo has failed as a Minister, you cannot have health minister that puts people’s lives in danger. If I was the President I would have fired half of my cabinet if not all, starting with Foreign affairs, Health, Commerce, etc, they are doing nothing even that mines Minister is so useless and corrupt

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  3. Seriously where has the minister failed….availabliity of medicines? Is she not releasing the funds or are the funds simply not there?

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  4. “The Ministry of Health and its supply chain agency, the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supply Agency (ZAMMSA), have been accused of not adequately supplying these essential items to public health institutions. The issue has been raised in both traditional and social media platforms, as well as on the floor of the House.”
    The Parliamentary commitee spent alot of money undertaking investigations and this is the best they can come up with…anyone can do this from their laptop and these MPs got seating allowances for this…vague conclusion.

  5. Hh has no balls to fire masebo. Hh is infatuated with a used up woman like masebo. Who has not been with masebo?

    To those that wished me death. Good morning I am alive and kicking. You will die before me you upnd cows

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  6. I am of the view that Ministry of Health just like Finance and education can served better by professional appointees in which the ministry belongs.
    Of course it is not a guarantee but it changes the arguments from purely politics to ethical with conscience.
    May be that is the reason ministers should be picked outside parliament and be encouraged to resign when delivery is challenged.

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    • You dont have to be a doctor to be a Minister of Health..there is a reason why there are two PSs and consultants in that ministry.

  7. Masebo and the other one at information and broadcasting should be both fired…………..

    If these two are not replaced, HH will be a lame chicken president come 2026…………

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  8. One thing Zambians know, KZ will spend Christmas in remand prison. The president should make reshuffles to realign effectiveness in his administration. The president should not wait for public outcry on some of his ministers poor showing. Confidence can be lost in a second but gaining it may take long time, often years.

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  9. This has very little to do with the Health Minister. I have seen problems in the Zambia health service for more than 20 years. Most of the problems have to with ground level management. Most managers fail to perform. The only thing for which politicians are to be blamed, is their appointing such incompetent people.

  10. A strange African country where a mere Nurse serves as a Minister of Health loaded with pride to supervise well-trained Medical Doctors. This scenario has demoralized professional staff to an extent of negatively impacting on health care delivery.

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    • Its not about being a mere nurse, and a doctor is not the most educated person on earth or in Zambia?? That is why these so called doctors have been failing apart from a few

  11. Masebo isn’t the problem here, but the whole system of governance in Zambia. You can’t have a country where the efficiency of arms of the government are dependent on individuals.. The system should be fluid and data analysis continuous to facilitate identification of problems. However, the politicisation of the system by various governments, which started with UNIP, has caused huge damage. We now are faced with having to wait for effects on the public, before raising alarm. Sadly, it has become a cultural problem now. The only solution is blowing it all up and starting afresh. We have to redesign. Brand new Constitution and all that come with that.

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