NchelengE District Commissioner (DC) Royd Chakaba has appealed to government to immediately explore the prospects of constructing a District Hospital in the area.
Mr. Chakaba made the appeal when Luapula Province Permanent Secretary (PS) Chanda Kasolo paid a courtesy call on him at his office yesterday.
Mr. Chakaba told the PS that Nchelenge which was declared a district in the 70s has no government owned hospital and the population is currently being serviced by the Catholic Church run Saint Paul’s Mission Hospital.
He commended management at the mission hospital for supplementing government’s efforts in ensuring that quality health service delivery is brought close to the people.
Mr. Chakaba however noted that the hospital is often overwhelmed with a large number of patients as it is the only referral hospital catering for Chienge and Nchelenge Districts in Luapula Province and Kaputa District in the Northern Province.
He said the Catholic Church run health institution carters for more than 400, 000 people.
Mr. Chakaba observed that this has strained efforts of ensuring quality in health care
He has since thanked government for upgrading the hospital to Level two but observed that the staffing levels were still low.
The DC added that the hospital lacks specialized medical personnel for it to operate at full capacity.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chakaba has described the conditions at the State Prison in the area as pathetic and inhabitable.
Mr. Chakaba said the State Prison which was established to accommodate only 16 inmates during the colonial days is congested and houses at least 160 inmates saying the situation required quick government action.
He urged the PS to help the district to access funds reflected in the yellow book for capital projects such purchase of a dredging machine and the water vessels to service the Islands on Lake Mweru.
The DC told the PS that civil servants shun working at the Islands of Mweru Lake because of the unreliable mode of transport to the mainland.
And Luapula Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo said the duty of the mainstream government departments is to ensure that developmental programs are driven at a reasonable pace.
Mr. Kasolo said government has the obligation to take development to rural places such as Nchelenge and assured the DC of his support in executing the will of the state.