NANCY SIAME, Kawambwa
GOVERNMENT has released K53 million for the recruitment of 2,500 health workers, Deputy Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya has said.
Dr Chitalu said the recruitment is meant to mitigate the shortage of health workers in the country.
He said most of those to be recruited will be deployed in far flung areas, especially the rural areas of the country.
“Government is aware that most health centres in rural areas have shortage of staff and this is what we want to improve,” the minister said.
Dr Chilufya said this on Saturday when he paid a courtesy call on Mwata Kazembe at his palace in Mwansabombwe.
He said Government has also started increasing the number of students being enrolled in health courses.
“We are doing this by building more nursing schools as well as expanding the old ones,” Dr Chilufya said.
He said Government is also working hard to bring primary health care as close to the people as possible through the construction of 650 health posts country wide.
Dr Chilufya said his ministry is also working hard to ensure that all medical centres country wide are well equipped with medicines as Government will not allow giving prescriptions to patients.
Earlier, Mwata Kazembe complained about shortage of staff at health centres in his chiefdom.
He said health centres in his chiefdom only have one or two workers thereby making it difficult for them to work because the population is high.
“We also have a situation of people being given prescriptions yet most of them have no money to buy the medication,” the chief said.
Mwata Kazembe also bemoaned the high poverty levels in Luapula and called on Government to ensure that contracts are given to local people so that the province benefits.
“It’s not fair that our people are being deprived of opportunities,” he said.
The chief however commended Dr Chilufya for his hard work saying he has done a lot since assuming office.
“This country would go far if we had a lot of people as hardworking as you,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Chilufya toured Kawambwa District Hospital, which is being built at a cost of K12 million.
Dr Chilufya was impressed with the works which have reached an advanced stage and said the first phase of the hospital will be completed within the next four months.
“After the first phase has been completed, the hospital will be open to members of the public,” he said.
Dr Chilufya said the hospital will be equipped with all the latest medical equipment.