Government commends community health workers for cushioning shortages

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Government has commended community health workers for providing quality primary healthcare to patients.

Community Development, Mother and Child Health Permanent Secretary, Elwyn Chomba said community health workers have greatly cushioned the current critical shortage of medical professionals in Zambia.

Professor Chomba said there was need to enhance the training of community health workers in order to enable them to safely and effectively administer injectable contraceptives.

She noted that community health workers can be used as short term measures to mitigate the current critical shortage of skilled medical personnel especially in expanding access to a range of health services.

Professor Chomba said this in a speech read on her behalf by University Teaching Hospital (UTH) Consultant, Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Dr. Yusuf Ahmed at the family planning dissemination meeting in Lusaka today.

She explained that training of community health workers and others who provide injectable contraception should enhance competencies and other trainings to maintain skills.

And Child Fund (CF) Zambia National Director, Ely Keita said injectable Depo Provera has played a significant role in increasing contraceptive uptake amongst women of reproductive age in two pilot districts.

Mr. Keita said there was need to promote the provision of quality health care to people and access to family planning programmes especially in outlying areas of the country.

He said Child Fund has since formulated guidelines and best practices from its 2006-2012 phases one and two of the family planning integration projects in Luangwa and Mumbwa districts that can replicated in other areas.

Mr. Keita has since implored stakeholders to find a way forward for the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health to certify community health workers to provide injectable contraceptives in their communities as part of the national family planning programme.

Earlier, Chief Mpuka of the Chikunda speaking people of Luangwa district of Lusaka Province has observed that smaller families were crucial in fighting poverty among poor families due to the current economic hardships.

Chief Mpuka said any interventions that were aimed at reducing incidences of unwanted pregnancies must be supported fully so that people are able to sustain their families.