MINISTER of Heath Sylvia Masebo has bemoaned the theft of medicines in health facilities which has resulted in shortages of medication and other medical supplies.
Ms Masebo said thefts have not only created a shortage, but also affected operations in health facilities as it has seen to patients suffering when in dire need of treatment.
The Minister revealed that arrests of some people behind the theft of medicines have been made, with a total of 70 arrests, 35 convictions of which 26 are health workers.
Ms Masebo said the health workers who have been convicted for theft of medication will be deregistered as they do not serve in the best interest of the people.
Speaking yesterday at the opening of a consultative meeting on thefts of medicines and medical supplies from public health facilities, Ms Masebo said the theft of medical supplies will not be condoned.
“Thefts of medicines and medical supplies in our public health facilities are a matter of utmost concern and urgency as they undermine the efforts of government to provide quality healthcare services to all. Thefts of medicines are not only illegal, but also unethical, as they directly affect the lives of the most vulnerable members of our society,” she said.
Ms Masebo said when medicines and medical supplies are stolen from the public health facilities, it means that patients who are in dire need of adequate care and treatment of their ailments are not appropriately treated.
She said not getting adequate treatment led either to complications, disability or death.
“Stealing of medicines and medical supplies from public health facilities also frustrates the efforts of dedicated healthcare workers who work tireless to ensure quality services are provided to our people. To address this issue, we must take decisive and immediate actions,” Ms Masebo said.
She said the Ministry has further taken a step to write to Health Professions Council of Zambia to have those convicted be deregistered so that they should never practice and stop to deprive the public of the much needed life-saving medicines.
The Minister further said a task force has been established to ensure that measures being strengthening collaboration with law, staff training and awareness, improved inventory management, community engagement and security of medications in which Ministry has directed procurement of CCTV’s to be installed against thefts.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 4th August, 2023)
8,000 lives lost to cancer every year in Zambia
MINISTER of Health Sylvia Masebo has revealed that nearly 8,000 cancer patients succumb to the disease each year in Zambia.
Speaking in the Parliament yesterday , Ms. Masebo highlighted that over 70 percent of the fatalities occur in stages three and four, which are deemed incurable but could still offer a good quality of life with appropriate treatment.
The minister disclosed that alongside the 8,000 deaths, Zambia records more than 13,000 new cancer cases annually.
She said government is, however actively working to enhance the Cancer Diseases Hospital (CDH), a critical healthcare facility in the country.
Ms Masebo further informed the House that significant progress has been made in revitalising CDH, with additional efforts directed towards expanding cancer treatment services.
She said new cancer centers have been established in Livingstone and on the Copperbelt in Ndola, with the latter expected to be operational by June next year.
Responding to an urgent question from Nakonde Member of Parliament Luka Simumba, Ms. Masebo stressed the commitment of the government to address the challenges posed by the rising cancer cases.
“Madam Speaker, The House may wish to note that Zambia today confirms 13,852 new cancer cases per year, and nearly 8,000 patients die per year because more than 70 percent of these cancer patients are in stage three and four, which are incurable, but can still have a good quality of life with adequate treatment,” she said.
Ms. Masebo said CDH attends to 3,000 patients annually, with 1,800 requiring radiotherapy treatment.
She expressed concern that the diagnostic and radiation treatment machines, installed by Siemens in 2006, have become obsolete and were scheduled for replacement between 2016 and 2019.
“The New Dawn Administration under the able leadership of His Excellency Mr Hakainde Hichilema the President of the Republic of Zambia, measures by allocating money K12 million for repair of the two CT scanners and the MRI in 2022 and in the 2023 Budgets allocation of K300 million to revamp the operations of the facility has been done,” she said.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 11th November, 2023)
Anthrax outbreak: 335 cases and four deaths reported across six provinces
MINISTRY of Health has disclosed that 335 cases of Anthrax and four deaths have been recorded in six provinces.
The affected provinces are Southern with 269 cases, Western 19, Eastern 30, Lusaka 13, North Western 1 and Muchinga with 3 cases.
Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo said a 12-year-old boy from Muchinga is among the victims that have succumbed to the disease.
Ms Masebo said this when she gave an update on the events threatening the public health security in the country.
“A cumulative 335 cases and four deaths have been reported across the country in the following provinces Southern, Western, Eastern, Lusaka, North Western and Muchinga,” the minister said.
Ms Masebo warned the public against consuming meat from unknown sources.
She said meat should be bought from designated butcheries to prevent the spread of the disease.
Ms Masebo said the ministry has also implemented measures to contain and prevent the spread of Anthrax.
She said reorientation of staff on disease identification and management to ensure early diagnosis and treatment among other measures.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 1st November, 2023)
26 cholera cases recorded in Lusaka, with 2 deaths.
MINISTER of Health Sylvia Masebo has told parliament that 26 confirmed cases of cholera have been recorded in Lusaka.
Ms Masebo said the ministry has also recorded two cholera deaths.
She explained that on August 18 the public was informed that a case of cholera was reported in Kanyama area.
Ms Masebo said as of October 25 health facilities noted a few more cholera cases in Lusaka.
She said this in a ministerial statement on the cholera outbreak situation in Zambia.
“To date there have been 26 confirmed cases of cholera in Lusaka and we are deeply saddened to report that two lives, one which occurred in the community, have been lost as a result of this outbreak. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families affected by this,” the minister said.
She said health workers are working in the community to ensure that cases are identified and managed on time.
Ms Masebo said the Government is also distributing chlorine for household use and environmental decontamination among other measures to prevent the spread of the outbreak.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 27th October, 2023)