Saturday, April 20, 2024

Gwembe in need of ambulances


Gwembe district health office is lobbying for two ambulances through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in a quest to reduce maternal deaths.

Gwembe District Health Director, Nkuta Kashweka said most maternal deaths in the district have been caused by lack of transport to ferry expectant mothers to delivery centres and that this initiative would help solve the problem.

Dr Kashweka told ZANIS today that the department has applied to the CDF committee for the procurement of the ambulances through the Lukonde and Fumbo Ward Development Committees.

He said the ambulances will service the catchments of Munyumbwe and Gwembe hospitals respectively.

“We have already identified cooperatives and applications were done through the WDCs and we are just waiting for the CDF committee to sit and see the way forward. We are really in need of these ambulances for us to continue saving lives,” he said.

The district health director also explained that the two ambulances that are currently servicing the two hospitals are not reliable and are too old and worn out, consequently making it difficult to ferry patients and expectant mothers to referral centres as they are characterised with breakdowns.

He said once new ambulances are procured, the maternal deaths will reduce in the district as mothers will be ferried with ease and on time to delivery centres.

However, Dr kashweka lamented that it is not only the lack of transport that contributes to maternal deaths on transit but also the bad state of the roads that lead to health facilities.

He has since appealed to the local authority to consider grading the roads.

“Our roads are really in a bad state such that it can take a lot of hours for an ambulance to reach the delivery Centre. This also affects the expectant mother as there is no comfort required due to the bumps on the roads. We are appealing to the local authority to consider grading the roads in the district especially before the offset of rains,” he said.

Dr Kashekw added that the bad road network has also contributed to the worn out of vehicles in the district, therefore incurring a lot of expenditure on maintenance and repair.

Further, District Nursing Officer Miyoba Mbewe has appealed to WDCs in Chamwe and Bbondo wards to apply for construction of mothers’ shelters at Chamwe, Bbondo and Luumbo rural health centres through CDF.

Ms Mbewe said this will help expectant mothers to be at the health facilities in time before delivery to avoid emergencies.

And Ms Mbewe has also observed that most at- risk mothers refuse to be referred to the hospitals for delivery due to lack of food.

She has since appealed to the department of social welfare to consider helping women at mothers’ shelters with food staff.

‘’ Most at- risk mothers refuse to be referred to the hospital due to lack of food. They look at spending money both for food to carry to the hospital and what to leave at home for their families. So this becomes more risky and may lead to maternal deaths. We are appealing to the department of social welfare to come in and help where possible, because what we have in our hospitals is not enough,” she said.

The nursing officer has also appealed to expectant mothers to develop early health seeking behaviors by avoiding late presentation of their cases to health facilities so that they can be easily and effectively monitored by health personnel to avoid complications during delivery.

She has also called for installation of more mobile network towers in the district to enhance effective and easy communication during emergencies.

Local Government and Rural Development Minister Garry Nkombo recently wrote to local authorities in the country to allow procurement of ambulances in hospitals using the Constituency Development Fund. This would help the Gwembe community to have new ambulances which they have for a long time been lobbying for.


  1. All those so called millionaires in Zambia not one can come with a Ambulance vehicle plant that converts brand new panel vans to ambulances..I am sure you would not be short of customers; Ministry of Health, neighbouring countries etc.

  2. Zambian millionaires are all stingy and cannot even donate a bicycle and what more an ambulance. Most of them were thieves in government and parastals and that’s how they became rich. Some of them are shylocks who carried out night rituals at cemeteries or slept with dogs to aquire the weath they have today and cannot subtract or give away any ngwee from their dodgy wealth as their wealth is linked to juju or witch craft. What a shame?

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