Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Former Health Minister Warns of Collapsed Health System and Covid-19 Surge in Zambia

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In a recent interview on Diamond TV’s “COSTA” program, former Health Minister and Patriotic Front (PF) Presidential Candidate, Hon. Dr Chitalu Chilufya, spoke out about the state of the country’s health system and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Chilufya lamented the shortage of drugs in public hospitals and the collapsed supply chain, stating that it is “immoral” for the government to continue denying the issue. “If Zambians themselves are saying they are being given prescriptions and they have no medicines and they see their relatives die, if the doctors themselves who are working 24 hours in health institutions are saying there is no medicine, if the NGOCC who have done an independent assessment are saying there is no medicine, where is the government getting the information, is it the private hospitals where there are drugs?” he questioned.

The former Minister also highlighted the discrepancy between the supply chain of medicines under the PF government and the current collapsed system. “The supply chain of medicines under the PF government cannot be compared to this collapsed…. One, if you just look at the period between January 2021 and August 2021, I will tell you that the average availability of medicines was between 75% to 85%,” he said.

In addition to the problems with the supply of medicines, Dr Chilufya warned of a surge in Covid-19 cases in Zambia. “Zambia is not yet out of the hoodwinks, Zambia is on the brink of the Covid outbreak. And what we are seeing in the recent past by the dashboard, with 8% positivity with minimal testing, with seven deaths just in the last 10 days, I am going to tell you from experience that if we are testing the right numbers, you would see that there are many more Covid cases than is being reported. Probably more deaths than being reported,” he stated.

The former Minister emphasized the need for increased testing and honest reporting of data, citing the PF government’s record of testing over 10,000 cases and accurately reporting mortality rates. “We were honest with the public in terms of data, we were not only looking at facility deaths we were also looking at BIDs….and therefore we were recording mortality honestly. I am not predicting a surge, I am saying there is a surge right now and I am predicting a worst situation,” he said.

In light of these issues, Dr Chilufya called on the government to take emergency measures to address the shortages of medicines and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is important that government embarks on emergency measures to bring in medicines in the country to support health service delivery, to support the emergency response to Covid, to strengthen health security,” he said. He also warned that the economic recovery program will not succeed if the government does not invest adequately in the health security of the nation.

The former Minister also urged the public to take precautions such as mask-wearing in certain places. “When we win in health, all of us win… You cannot reduce from testing 12,000 to testing 2,000,” he said.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Look at this guy he has now come back to laugh at you after eating next it will be Chitotela talking about Tourism

  2. Even under PF we had several and serious challenges in our medical facilities, so lets not try to paint the picture as being rosy here, we know politicians say Zambians have short memories, but on PF our memories are still fresh. We had more challenges and atrocities than we have now. And by the way who pulled the triggers in the deaths Vespers, Mapenzi and Frank Mugala and others

  3. We have not switched off our memories, at some point and for a long time this same issue of medicines in hospital was a big problem under PF including this same delayed FISP distribution. Of course, UPND needs to step up, but an impression should not be created that under PF all was well.

  4. He is the worst health minister that we ever had. Now, coming here, wanting to sound cleaver. During his time, the ministry was being run with girlfriends and if you dare crossed their path, you were gone. This ministry was also one of the most affected by his tribalism as anyone from the other side was either demoted or retired in national interest. Drugs were also not there and look at him, trying to pretend now. What a useless chap

    • Yes…next he will be talking about corruption in Health procurement …this is why I stated that ACC should have gone with these guys on day one but HH let the Lungu appointed PS carry on shredding evidence for another 6 months.

  5. Ni manje manje naba Bowman will come out from the hiding and lecture the country on political violence the department he effectively run in MMD/PF. Just the other day we saw Miles Sampa visit the inter city PF commander, the chap who terrorized travelers and the public, that commander now is advocating against violence with ba Sampa. The PF officials think Zambians are stupid and sleeping. We chucked you out because of all your nonsense.

  6. Are you still waiting for the covid numbers to go up or you going to be proactive and put restrictions on those coming affected countries like china. Protect Zambian citizens by doing the right thing bane.

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