Hundreds of residents in Itezhi tezhi district in central province have benefited from specialized medical services at Central province mobile hospital which is currently operating in Itezhi tezhi.
In the past, people from Itezhi tezhi were forced to travel long distances to Lusaka for specialized medical services which are not available at the local hospital until the mobile hospital started operating from Itezhi tezhi for the past five days.
Central Province Mobile Hospital Delegation Leader Mateele Tebuho told ZANIS in an interview that more than 1,700 patients have accessed specialized services from the mobile hospital which has been in the district for a week now.
Dr Tebuho said that the mobile hospital has been overwhelmed with the response from Itezhi tezhi residents who have been lining up as early as 06:00 hours to seek specialized services.
“From the time we came here, we have registered more than 1,700 patients and the number is likely going to swell by the end of the day” Dr Tebuho said.
“There is a lot of work being done here such that sometimes we have to suspend our lunch to ensure that we clear all the patients. It is challenging but satisfying when we provide services to all our patients” Dr Tebuho added.
The delegation leader said that health workers in the moving clinics had also conducted operations involving various ailments.
The mobile hospitals were procurement by government from China at total cost of US$ 53 Million.
The hospital that has been to all districts in Central province for more than twice have made a remarkable impact on the community
“As we are talking now specialized doctors are conducting minor operations, cervical cancer screening and treatment for smaller lesions” Dr Tebuho said.
He said the composition of the facilities, which included CD4 count machine, X-ray, Theatre, Laboratory, pharmacy and dental unit has made it possible for health personnel on mobile hospitals to attend to as many patients as possible.
And Provincial Medical Officer Dr Abel Kabalo said the mission of the mobile hospital is to take expertise to rural areas where there is none.
“The mission of the mobile hospital is to take expertise to hard to reach areas where under normal circumstances you would not find specialized doctors.” Dr Kabalo said.
And Itezhi tezhi District Commissioner Roy Nang’alelwa has hailed the government decision to embrace the mobile hospitals as they are important in health service delivery in rural areas.
Mr Nang’alelwa said mobile hospitals consisted of health experts who were not found in many district hospitals.
The District commissioner has since appealed to government to increase funding to the mobile health unit in order to have more people in rural areas access specialized health care.
He also noted that the mobile hospital needed more staff for them to attend to many people in rural areas.
“We would also like the government to employ more health staff in rural districts and health centres even as they are being supplemented by the mobile hospital” Mr Nang’alelwa said.
And mobile hospital has brought hope to the door step of Mr Kelvin Mukamba who could not afford to visit the district hospital and there were no specialized doctors for his eye sight problem.
But life is looking up for Mr Mukamba now with Itezhi tezhi district getting a state-of-the-art hospital-on-wheels which has provided him with affordable lenses for only K20 when the same costs about K300 at private health facilities.
The mobile hospital sits on several different four wheeled trucks equipped with sophisticated laboratory and diagnostic facilities, including X-ray machines, and an operation table among other facilities.
Several doctors, nurses, a radiologist and a pharmacist are accompanying the mobile hospital in a separate vehicle.