Oxygen crisis

The oxygen crisis facing major hospitals in Zambia is wrong and unconscionable.

There is absolutely no justification for hospitals to suspend operations, for lack of oxygen caused in main by poor planning. It is unconscionable because the Government has failed to invest in this important and life saving resource, while spending money on political projects that promise high visibility.

There is no doubt that lives have been lost because doctors are not able to carry out operations in the absence of oxygen. This also means that lives may have been lost among the critical patients in dire need of oxygen. Needless to that Doctors are confronted with very difficult life and death choices.

This is not the role doctors should play. Their Hippocratic Oath binds them to save lives, but without the requisite resources difficult choices have to be made.

In this day and age and our stage of economic development where we can afford expensive by elections, it is truly unacceptable that our hospitals should be putting off operations because there is no oxygen, ostensibly on account of the failure by the Government to invest in requisite plant and equipment that would produce the gas.

It is this lack of or disregard for detail that makes Governments unpopular. Zambians will not be amused that hospitals have no oxygen while they see prestige projects spring up all over the country. Some of these projects have little relevance or interest among the people among whom they are established.

While it is in order for huge mega projects, such as roads to be imposed on communities, it is equally important their existing facilities suffering from years of dilapidation are also repaired and in some cases completely upgraded.

Our Doctors have to work in very difficult circumstances where they must improvise because the Government has failed to provide the wherewithal   for the tasks before themThere is urgent need for the Government to take very keen look at the deplorable conditions existing in our medical institutions.  Resident in Lusaka must queue on line from o5hrs in order to chance an opportunity to see a clinical officer. In addition to the difficulties in seeking medical attention, patients have to buy medicines because most pharmacies are ill stocked.  Time has come for the Government to wake up to the realities of privation in our medical institutions.

 Fertilizer scandal gets worse

 Just when we thought the situation would improve, it is actually getting worse.

The situation at Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) requires very urgent attention if the country is to be spared the specter of crisis which may result in impulsive and therefore unplanned purchases by the Government when the due dates begin to approach.

What is most worrying is the apparent manipulation of the tenders involved in the supply of raw materials for the plant.

There is a definite feeling that attempts are being made to sabotage the factory in order to advantage well connected individuals who stand to benefit from the confusion.

Time is now for the relevant authorities to step in and inform the nation on the shenanigans that are bound to affect the country very negatively.

There is no reason for the Government to stand idly by unless of course the rot goes very far, and it is for this reason that the Anti Corruption Commission and indeed Zambia Public Procurement Authority are failing to explain to the nation why the supply contract has been cancelled and reinstated several times.

The truth must be told.