In a heartfelt expression of gratitude, I wish to extend our thanks to President Hakainde Hichilema for recognizing our collective efforts in combating the challenges faced by our country. The recognition bestowed upon us for our tireless efforts to aid the people of Zambia in the face of a profound struggle has been both humbling and appreciated.
President Hakainde Hichilema, I extend my sincere thanks for the opportunity given to us. The recognition of our determination to save lives and help our people is truly appreciated. However, with this acknowledgment comes a sense of responsibility to shed light on the overlooked contributions of our colleagues.
While I am grateful for the employment extended to us by the Ministry of Health, I find myself grappling with unanswered questions about the exclusion of many volunteers, particularly those stationed at Level One CTCs, Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital and The University Teaching Hospital. These dedicated individuals have been managing cholera long before the establishment of Levy CTC and Heroes Stadium CTC, and their omission raises concerns about the fairness of recognition.
The disparity in recognition raises questions about the perceived value of efforts in different cholera management centers. These Hospitals have long been managing cholera, even predating the establishment of Levy and Heroes Stadium CTCs. We have to raise the crucial question: why is the contribution of other volunteers seemingly deemed less significant? Could it be that the public display at the Heroes CTCs attracts more attention? Is the primary goal to garner public interest? Is this why our colleagues are being excluded?
I write to shed light on the pivotal role volunteers play in various hospitals, emphasizing that they are the frontline workers dealing with critical patients daily. Many of these volunteers operate in understaffed stations, unable to leave their posts to assist at cholera centers due to the potential dire consequences for patients left behind. Additionally, hospital administrators may see volunteers leaving as desertion, putting them at risk of punishment. The volunteers highlight the immense pressure faced by those managing everyday healthcare needs, including treating pregnant women, sick children, road traffic accident victims and patients with Covid-19, Heart Attacks, Cancer and Strokes.
President Hakainde Hichilema, your recognition is sincerely appreciated, and I believe you may not be fully aware of the prevailing situation faced by many volunteers on the frontlines. The intention is not to undermine your efforts but rather to initiate a conversation about the realities faced by every unemployed volunteer doctor in the country. We aim to prompt a reflection on whether some volunteers are deemed more important than others, emphasizing the significance of saving lives across a spectrum of medical conditions.
This is not a political statement but a respectful plea for acknowledgment and fair recognition of the dedication exhibited by all volunteers. It emphasizes the need for a broader conversation about the challenges faced by Unemployed Volunteer Doctors across Zambia.
Their contributions are invaluable. We are hopeful that President Hakainde Hichilema will lend his ear to the concerns of those who feel unheard and unseen on the frontlines of healthcare. Let this be a call to recognize and appreciate the efforts of all volunteers across the spectrum of healthcare challenges faced by our beloved Zambia.
A representative of the Unemployed Medical Doctors of Zambia