The Zambia Flying Doctor Service and the Zambia Air Force – ZAF have signed a Memorandum of Understanding – MoU aimed at helping the Service to have access to ZAF planes to enable them to reach more remote places.
Zambia Flying Doctor Service Board Chairperson Rosemary Kumwenda stated that the partnership with ZAF will help the service provide health services to hard to reach places.
Speaking after the signing of the MoU at ZAF Headquarters in Lusaka, Dr. Kumwenda said that the MoU involves the provision of aircrafts by ZAF, aircrew and aircraft maintenance personnel.
Dr. Kumwenda added that the FDS is faced with quiet a number of challenges to effectively carry out its mandate, such as lack of sufficient aircrafts to conduct medical evacuations and medical outreach programs simultaneously which is why the MoU has come at the right time.
“ZFDS reached out to ZAF for provision of equipment and services to assist with flying and maintaining the ZFDS aircraft to enhance delivery of aviation-based medical services,” she said
She further said that ZAF has been a reliable partner for ZFDS for emergency medical evacuations in areas where the service’ aircrafts can not land, adding that ZAF has always provided choppers to make service delivery efficient.
Dr. Kumwenda noted that the signing of the MoU will also outline the significance for the two institutions and showcase the importance of teamwork.
And ZAF Commander Colin Barry has assured the service that the air force will provide suitable aircrafts, personnel and equipment needed for medical missions.
In a speech read on his behalf by ZAF Chief of Training Kamima Nyirenda, General Barry said that health is a right for all Zambians including those in remote areas.
General Barry added that he is elated by ZFDS’s commitment to its statutory mandate of combating disease and promoting the health and material wellbeing of inhabitants of the rural areas in the country.
“ZAF is proud to be associated with such efforts to enhance quality health in its service to the country,” he said
He stated that ZAF is continually looking for opportunities to carry out its constitutional mandate of coordinating with state organs and state institutions in times of public emergencies and national disasters, to serve Zambians better.
This week, the Zambia Flying Doctor Service – ZFDS announced that it will double its outreach efforts in 2023.
And the Zambia Flying Doctor Service Chief Executive Officer George Ng’uni said that the service is on the verge of signing a Memorandum of Understanding – MoU with the Zambia Air Force – ZAF to use ZAF choppers to reach out to the remotest areas of the country.
Dr. Ng’uni noted that it has been hard to provide healthcare services especially in the rainy season due to the conditions of some airstrips.
He also assured Zambians that the service will double its outreach efforts once its other aircraft resumes flying.
Speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Paramount Chief Chiti Mukulu of the Bemba speaking people, Dr. Ng’uni mentioned that the engine of the spare aircraft is undergoing an overhaul and is expected to be brought back by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, Chief Chiti Mukulu commended the ZFDS management for reviving the service and sticking to it’s mandate.
The Paramount Chief said Northern Province is one of the most underdeveloped Provinces in the country and such services will help to enhance people’s health.
Chief Chiti Mukulu also urged ZFDS to consider educating people in rural areas on the safe usage of traditional herbs because they are the experts who know the advantages and effects.
And Northern Province Deputy Permanent Secretary Lewis Mwape said that ZFDS will continue being supported because it is the Government’s tool to reach out to the rural areas for healthcare provision.
The flying doctor service is a good initiative especially for specialist emergency cases where patients are alienated by distance and associated obstacles. However, we need not relent on the efforts directed towards setting up of rural health posts, as this gives a lasting solution and peace of mind to the locals knowing that anytime they needed medical attention, they know where to go
Zambia Flying Doctor Service is supposed to impartial involving the military just complicates issues why not just buy them aircrafts and increase funding. ZAF have their own medical team.
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