St Francis open day embraces interactions with communities

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——Authorities at St Francis Mission Hospital in Katete district in Eastern Province say the heath institution will always remain obliged to offering health care services in a clean, caring and necessary competent manner on behalf of government.

St Francis Mission Hospital Medical superintendent, Simon Chisi says St Francis Mission Hospital during the institution’s open day at the hospital today.

Speaking during the occasion, which was held under a theme “Delivering quality health through community participation”, Dr Chisi said this year’s open day was not only aimed at showcasing the services offered by the hospital but also means of creating an interaction with the community and find ways of improving and achieving the health needs.

And delivering a speech on behalf of the District Commissioner, Katete District Agricultural Coordinator (DACO), Robbie Musendo, said quality health care can only be achieved through full community participation.

Mr Musendo noted that communities are the custodians of their own health.

He said Government recognises the invaluable contributions of St Francis Mission Hospital in the delivery of health care to the community of Katete and beyond the boundaries of the district.

Mr Musendo added that communities play a cardinal role in the delivery of health services, saying interactions between health care providers and communities were important.

He, however, noted that over the years, interaction between health care providers and the community has not been very good, adding that most of the time communities lacked avenues of engaging the health care providers on various issues that affect their wellbeing.

He stated that government, through the Ministry of Health, has decided to create a platform such as the open day to facilitate information flow between service providers and the community.

Mr Musendo noted that an open day was a rare opportunity for communities to have a deeper understanding of the hospital activities.

He retaliated that government is committed to ensuring that communities and other stakeholders are given correct information on various issues pertaining health care provision in their respective localities.

Meanwhile, Headman Chimtengo, who spoke on behalf of chiefs, thanked St Francis health management team for their commitment towards helping the surrounding communities and beyond the borders of Zambia.

Headman Chimtengo observed that the hospital has tirelessly worked through its consistence and quality health care services.

He pointed out that the mission hospital has been on hand to attend to emergencies and referrals from across the province and neighbouring Mozambique and Malawi.

He added that the hospital since has, inception, been handy in ensuring that surrounding villages are assisted and cared for in the possible manner available.

He however pleaded with government to continue funding the hospital for the smooth operations to continue.

The headman noted that service delivery at times is affected by de-motivating factors that health care providers are faced with.

He pointed out that doctors and nurses are usually over-worked due to inadequate staffing that the hospital has been subjected to.

He added that Katete does not have a district hospital hence communities largely depend on the Mission Hospital for all major health ailments.

St Francis mission hospital offers second level services which include obstetric, orthopaedic,  medical and eye cases for other districts in the province.

Last year, the hospital attended to a total of 92,418 OPD cases, 16,998 admissions, 15,825 discharges, 1,248 deaths and 482 referred cases.

The hospital further recorded a number of 2, 909 live births with 4, 646 minor and major operations.

The health institution has since embarked on a building project to enhance its funds through creation of a training centre which will offer accommodation, training facilities for workshops and provided first hand hospital practical subjects to those wishing to carry out trainings using the facility.

The project has been necessitated by the erratic funding that the hospital is receiving from its funders.

The project has been sought as a way through which the hospital can raise funds to support its operations.

 By 2016 the hospital is expected to start offering registered nurses training.