The Matero Reference Health Centre has run out of certain medical essentials, causing patients and their relatives to fend for themselves in order to receive treatment from the institution.
Some patients at the health centre complained that they were being requested to go and buy syringes for medication as the institution did not have them in stock.
A relative who had a patient at the facility explained that they had been admitted for four days and had bought three pints of intravenous (IV) fluids for the period they have been there.
“We had to buy the cannula just when we arrived because they said they had run out of stock. We also have been providing our own IV fluids which they have said they do not have, and the syringes, including specimen bottles for laboratory tests,” Ms Jane Chiluya explained. Ms Chiluya said she was not the only one affected as several other patients and their relatives have gone in search of money to buy medical needs for treatment.
She said some people have since left without medication because they did not have the money to buy what was needed. She complained that it was unfortunate that in this time and age there were such limitations in the delivery of health services despite all the pronouncements about quality healthcare in Zambia.
She has since called on Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, Ms Emerine Kabashi, to visit local health centres to ensure they had in stock basic medical essentials like fluids for IV, cannulas and syringes to enable patients to receive minimum healthcare on arrival at the facilities.
The Ministry of Health, with assistance from the Japanese government, has commenced construction works to upgrade Matero Ref Clinic to a high level hospital facility with operation theatres and specialized clinics and fully-fledged maternity wing and mortuary services in order to decongest the University Teaching Hospital (UTH).
The new facility is expected to have adequate human resource and medical facilities such as X-ray, ultra-sound and laboratory, pharmacy and laundry.