GOVERNMENT has ordered the closure of the African Health Care Institute of Health Sciences in Chingola, which has been training community health care assistants.
The institution under the auspices of the Zambia Civil Society for Health Partnership run by Christine Kapampa, started operating this year and has over 450 students being trained as community health workers without authorisation from Government.
This came to light when Deputy Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya was in Chingola to officiate at a workshop organised by the institute.
Dr Chilufya was among others invited to induct 450 community health care assistants.
Chingola District Commissioner, Roy Nang’alelwa and District community medical officer Charles Sakulanda, however, briefed Dr Chilufya at his office before he could proceed to the workshop that the institute was illegal.
“We have a challenge because the workshop of the institution you have been invited to officiate at is illegal as it has no authorisation from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health to train community health workers,” Mr Nang’alelwa told the deputy minister.
This prompted Dr Chilufya to abandon the programme and advised members of the public not to enroll at the institution until it obtained necessary approval from the Government.
“Government will not participate in this programme because the institution does not have Government authorisation to train community health care workers and we advise the community not to enroll in these programmes,” Dr Chilufya said.
The training school accommodated at Zambia Institute of Management has more than 450 students being trained in Chingola.
He said Government had set guidelines for the participation of the private sector in human resources training.
“Unfortunately, the Zambia Civil Society for Health Partnership does not have authorisation from Government to train certified community health care assistants,” Dr Chilufya said.
He urged the organisation to get the necessary documents and authorisation to start training certified nursing assistants.
He advised all non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to abide by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) they signed with the Government when participating in training health care providers.
Dr Sakulanda wondered why the authorities had taken long to close the institution.
“We have also been wondering why the authorities have been delaying to close down the institution,” he said.
Dr Sakulanda said the training institution was advised not to start enrolling students, as there were other requirements it needed to adhere to.
Times of Zambia