ZAMBIA yesterday put to rest a consummate professional, humanitarian and and indeed a man of the people.
While it cannot be argued that no-one individual is indispensable in this world, it is however logical to appreciate the contribution of those that have excelled in their profession and have shared their knowledge and have made a difference.
The case in point is that of renowned urologist Francis Manda, who died on Friday and was put to rest yesterday at Leopards Hill Memorial Park in Lusaka.
Dr Manda’s success in his profession could be seen from the number of people who attended his burial and the many others that have written to this paper to express their condolences.
Dr. Manda touched many people in many different ways, but perhaps the most striking feature of his personality was his humility. He never took issue with his qualification as a medical doctor, often times he put himself in harm’s way to serve his patients. His phone line was always open just as was his advice on radio.
He simplified what many professionals obfuscate and make unintelligible. He was a man you could turn to when all else had failed.
He then used his intellect to speak on many issues. Politics was not foreign terrain, not with his party, which was never quite registered perhaps because of its name.
He was that type of man, knowledgeable, approachable, friendly and ever willing to assist.
Dr Manda made a great contribution to the health profession in Zambia although many will only remember him for his Radio 4 talk show programme called ‘Manzi Therapy’ on the national broadcaster ZNBC where he promoted quality health care.
During those talk shows, however, Dr Manda was able to help patients who tuned in to his programmes with all kinds of solutions.
He was candid and explained problems pertaining to the health sector in the most basic manner to enable those afflicted to understand.
The man was passionate about sharing his knowledge about health matters with members of the public.
Where some people saw difficulties, Dr Manda saw opportunities to resolve a health challenge.
Dr Manda would also open closed doors in the health sector through his Saturday commentaries as he answered complaints from callers who were either denied medical attention or did not know where to receive certain health services.
His contribution however cannot be viewed only from the talk-show as many of his workmates remember him as a lecturer and teacher who produced doctors.
It is clear that Dr Manda committed his life to Zambia and the people of Zambia.
Therefore, Dr Manda’s passing on cannot be a loss restricted to his children; Kunda, Mwelwa, Norman, Meya, Mercy and Philemon.
Zambians have lost a man who was passionate about his profession and its values.
It is therefore Zambians who will greatly Miss Dr Manda’s contribution to the health sector in the country.
Those who have remained in the health profession should emulate Dr Manda’s passion for the health sector; the need to share knowledge on health matters.
Perhaps his greatest legay was that although a senior physician with many years of experience and a household name, Dr Manda did not seek high office as a means of demonstrating his love for the health sector.