The government in partnership with the Czech Republic are set to launch the Czech medevac program in Mongu District, Western Province.
Minister of Health Silvia Masebo has acknowledged the poor performance of the health sector in the province citing various challenges.
The Minister who was accompanied by Czech Republic Ambassador to Zambia Pavel Prochazka, said this when she paid a courtesy call on Western Province Permanent Secretary, Simomo Akapelwa.
She revealed that the medevac program where the Czech Republic and Zambia through the Ministry of Health invites specialised doctors to perform surgeries that cannot be done by local doctors.
Ms. Masebo said the aim of the program is to look at patients with complicated health problems such as orthopaedics specifically.
The Minister said Czech doctors will be working with local doctors to avoid sending patients out of the country and pass on some skills to local doctors.
And speaking when she paid a courtesy call on the Barotse Royal Establishment Ngambela, Mukela Manyando, Ms Masebo said not much has been done in the area of health in Western province.
She pointed out challenges such as staffing when it comes to specialised doctors and equipment.
Ms Masebo said government wants to do more work in terms of improving the health sector in the province.
She explained that government is beginning the process of decentralizing the health sector.
The Minister said her Ministry will be decentralising some functions in a phased approach to the local authorities in districts adding that government wants to work with the traditional leadership in implementing the decentralisation policy.
Ms Masebo said President Hakainde Hichilema has directed the Ministry to move with this policy because nothing will succeed if the running of the country can only be done in Lusaka.
And Czech Republic Ambassador to Zambia, Pavel Prochazka told the BRE that his country is committed to assisting with improving the health sector in Western Province.
He said the Czech doctors will be in Mongu District till May 12,2023.
Ambassador Prochazka said the Medevac program is a program the Czech Republic wants to see grow and have a positive impact on Zambia’s health sector.
He also disclosed that Czech Republic’s first mission in the health sector is Mongu.
In response, the Ngambela Mukela Manyando thanked Government and those navigating the program for considering Western Province as a recipient of the offer.
The Ngambela has expressed gratitude to the Minister for visiting the province and the effort the government is making in improving health services in the region.
He said health facilities in Western Province are very few and far dispersed and added that the help of the Ministry and Czech Republic will lead to an improvement of health delivery.
Mr Manyondo said there are 16 districts in the province but some donot have district hospitals.
He appealed for more health posts as it takes a day to walk from one village to the nearest health facility which have further been worsened by poor road network.