Poor referral systems affect delivery


A medical doctor in Chadiza district says the health sector has continued to experience imbalances due to poor referral systems at primary health care levels.    Chadiza district hospital medical officer in –charge Davy Zulu said during a stake holders meeting that the referral system in the district needs to be strengthened.    Dr. Zulu said there is need for strategic investment in the referral system so that the second and third level hospitals are improved and well equipped with specialized treatment care services.    “We are experiencing a situation where patients are referring  themselves to the district hospital while others are going straight to  Chipata General and Saint Francis Hospitals without even passing  through the district hospital because they feel those institutions are  well equipped with specialist treatment,” he said.    Dr. Zulu said Chadiza district patients were not passing through  the urban clinic and instead they were going directly to the district  hospital even if they had a minor cough.    He said there was need to sensitize the community on the importance of  passing through the local clinics before referring themselves to the  district hospital.    Dr. Zulu said there was need to form an advisory body that would  include stake holders from government and the community to start  sensitizing the community so that the referral system in the district  is improved.    “We are also faced with a lot of challenges especially with the delay  in referrals where most of the expectant mothers arrive at the  district hospital in a bad state due to delays in seeking medical  help. Some mothers even go to the extent of using local herbs which  are ox- toxic and they end up compromising the well being of the baby”,  explained Dr Zulu.    And Chadiza district council chiefs representative Chenjelani Banda  commended the district hospital for involving the traditional leaders  in matters of health adding that chiefs were the custodians of the  people.     Mr Banda said sensitization meetings will begin with all village  headmen who will in turn sensitize their subjects in their various  villages on the referral system in the district.